In Part 1 of this 4-part series, we introduced the 5-stage creative process with Stage 1: Defining the Objective. In this post, we'll discuss Stage 2.
Stage 2: Brainstorm Ideas
This stage is fun because you get to think about all the things you could do to achieve your objective. Statements during this stage should begin with "what if." Research some brainstorming techniques to get you and your team started. Here's one that worked for me, and I used it a lot.
Hand everyone a pad of scrap paper or sticky note pad. Encourage everyone in the room to begin writing down ideas, illustrations, songs, drama sketch ideas, stage props — whatever elements you feel you need to be creative with for this event. Write the basic idea (my favorite one we actually did: "dropping toy monkeys with parachutes from the catwalk"), tear off the sheet, and write another. Keep firing off ideas, tearing the pages off and stacking them as you go. Set a timer for about 3 or 4 minutes.
...dropping toy monkeys with parachutes from the catwalk.
When the time is up, have one person at a time read their ideas from the stack. They read the idea, then stick it up on the wall. Ask for a short clarification on ideas when necessary. One person to the next does the same thing, sticking the ideas in the same area until everyone has gone. Stand back and look at all the ideas your team came up with in 3-4 minutes!
A couple of ground rules for this stage:
The brainstorming stage ends by choosing the ideas you will plan to do. Remember, these are still in the idea stage. I call these "unbaked" ideas because you have no concept of how it would really turn out. Invite your team to help you eliminate ideas that are either impossible, too expensive, to time-consuming for the event, or don't connect well to the objective. You only probably need a limited amount of creative elements, so don't overshoot.
Keep the sticky notes with ideas you didn't use. You might want to reference them again in the future. The next stage begins by further developing the creative elements you selected.
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Don Wambolt has over 25 years' experience in leading church communications. More