I was recently a guest on the Walk the Talk with Kim radio show on KKNW 1150am (www.walkthetalkwithkim.com). If you had a chance to listen in, I hope you enjoyed the show. I shared a few tips for creating great ideas and talked about turning my personal adventures into a way to give back.
As promised, here is a quick summary of the brainstorming tips I talked about on the show:
Speak in How tos and I wishes: When brainstorming, use the language How to and I wish to promote speculation and problem-solving. Create clear concise headlines for ideas. Record all of your ideas.
Open your Mind: Suspend judgment, don’t censor yourself or others. Be free with your ideas. Say yes to everything. Look for the value in every idea. Idea generation and idea evaluation are different modes of thinking…use one mode at a time.
More is Better: To discover truly creative solutions, strive for quantity. After you’ve unearthed the tried and true, dig deeper to find ideas that surprise you.
If you’d like to try out the creative exercise that I described during the show, follow these instructions:
Challenge Assumptions: When you lift conditions that seem permanent and unchangeable, you can unleash a flood of new ways to think about a challenge. Start this exercise by writing down an assumption about your situation. When it comes to recruiting volunteers for a nonprofit organization, you may assume that you compete with other nonprofits for volunteers. Next, make a shocking statement about your situation that challenges that assumption. Our shocking statement: We need to collaborate with other nonprofits to recruit volunteers. This instantly changes the way that you think about your challenge. This statement inspired these starter ideas:
- How to collaborate and share volunteers between two complementary organizations
- How to create a pool of volunteers within my community
- How to pool the vetting process of volunteers
- I wish to learn how other organizations in my community recruit and retain volunteers
- I wish to expand the donor pool for all
Use the statements as stimuli to generate more fully developed ideas. For example, a hospital could partner with a local school district to recruit, vet and share volunteers.
As discussed on the show, I applied SparkFire’s innovation process to create a fundraising event called Kilimanjaro for Kids. It’s an idea that turns my family adventures into a way to give back.
In December of this year, my family (including my 10 year-old son) will bike 200 miles from the base of Kilimanjaro to the coast of Tanzania, then climb Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. We are working with the nonprofit Friends of Africa Education to raise funds to build a new classroom for St. Margaret’s Academy in Tanzania.