Brainstorming was the brainchild of BBDO executive Alex Osborn during the early 1940s. Now, a standard practice in both creative and noncreative industries, there's many brainstorming methods that can generate a high quantity of ideas. To effectively brainstorm, idea killing needs to be left at the door. Waiting to judge ideas post-session creates an environment of free thinking. Ideas that are a little wild or seem impossible often have hidden gems. Then the group can combine ideas and methods that work best for participants and the project.

1. Brain writing

Brain writing helps avoid losing ideas or a singular idea dominating the ideation stage. It works best with a smaller group. On a sheet of paper, ask each person to come up with three different ideas. Then pass the paper to the right. This works great to generate a high volume of ideas. If you have six people, you just came up with 108 ideas.

2. Rapid ideation

Limitations can unleash creativity. After explaining a project's limitations, set a time limit for team members to write or sketch ideas unbridled. Five to 20 minutes later, sort ideas. This is great for individuals who thrive under pressure.

3. Mind mapping

Mind mapping plays on the brain's natural associative properties. Since associations vary from person to person, a wealth of connections can be found between items or concepts. It also more visually oriented. Write down a central word or phrase, than branch out to sub-ideas. Continue branching until you've exhausted associations.

4. Starbursting

Generally, brainstorming tends to begin with finding answers. Starbursting begins by asking who, what, where, when and why of a project. This can help a team focus on project necessities before getting lost in idea rabbit holes, insuring a client focused solution.

5. Stepladder

​It's very easy to move in a creative direction based on the idea of one assertive team member. Stepladder focuses on developing ideas by building on individual ideation. A team moderator asks everyone to come up with an idea. Everyone except two people are left in the room. Those two people discuss their ideas. Then a third person is added. They say their idea first and the original two respond with their ideas. The group works to incorporate the ideas into solutions. Then add another team member into the group dynamic and repeat the process.

6. Medici effect

Created by Frans Johansson, this technique focuses on gathering parallels between different industries or concepts. Comparing commonalities between the successful strategies can help identify changes to make.

7. Reverse Ideation

Here, you're working your way back from the intended effect of a creative solution. Identify the issue. Then ask how you would create the problem or the opposite problem. Brainstorm the solutions to those questions.

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Over two years into the most momentous event in our lives the world has changed forever … Some of us have PTSD from being locked up at home, some are living like everything’s going to end tomorrow, and the rest of us are merely trying to get by. When the pandemic hit we entered a perpetual state of vulnerability, but now we’re supposed to return to normal and just get on with our lives.

What does that mean? Packed bars, concerts, and grocery shopping without a mask feel totally strange. We got used to having more rules over our everyday life, considering if we really had to go out or keeping Zooming from our living rooms in threadbare pajama bottoms.

The work-from-home culture changed it all. Initially, companies were skeptical about letting employees work remotely, automatically assuming work output would fall and so would the quality. To the contrary, since March of 2020 productivity has risen by 47%, which says it all. Employees can work from home and still deliver results.

There are a number of reasons why everyone loves the work from home culture. We gained hours weekly that were wasted on public transport, people saved a ton of money, and could work from anywhere in the world. Then there were the obvious reasons like wearing sweats or loungewear all week long and having your pets close by. Come on, whose cat hasn’t done a tap dance on your keyboard in the middle of that All Hands Call!

Working from home grants the freedom to decorate your ‘office’ any way you want. But then people needed a change of environment. Companies began requesting their employees' RTO, thus generating the Hybrid Work Model — a blend of in-person and virtual work arrangements. Prior to 2020, about 20% of employees worked from home, but in the midst of the pandemic, it exploded to around 70%.

Although the number of people working from home increased and people enjoyed their flexibility, politicians started calling for a harder RTW policy. President Joe Biden urges us with, “It’s time for Americans to get back to work and fill our great downtowns again.”

While Boris Johnson said, “Mother Nature does not like working from home.'' It wasn’t surprising that politicians wanted people back at their desks due to the financial impact of working from the office. According to a report in the BBC, US workers spent between $2,000 - $5,000 each year on transport to work before the pandemic.

That’s where the problem lies. The majority of us stopped planning for public transport, takeaway coffee, and fresh work-appropriate outfits. We must reconsider these things now, and our wallets are paying

the price. Gas costs are at an all-time high, making public transport increase their fees; food and clothes are all on a steep incline. A simple iced latte from Dunkin’ went from $3.70 to $3.99 (which doesn’t seem like much but 2-3 coffees a day with the extra flavors and shots add up to a lot), while sandwiches soared by 14% and salads by 11%.

This contributes to the pressure employees feel about heading into the office. Remote work may have begun as a safety measure, but it’s now a savings measure for employees around the world.

Bloomberg are offering its US staff a $75 daily commuting stipend that they can spend however they want. And other companies are doing the best they can. This still lends credence to ‘the great resignation.’ Initially starting with the retail, food service, and hospitality sectors which were hard hit during the pandemic, it has since spread to other industries. By September 2021, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.4 million resignations.

That’s where the most critical question lies…work from home, work from the office or stick to this new hybrid world culture?

Borris Johnson thinks, “We need to get back into the habit of getting into the office.” Because his experience of working from home “is you spend an awful lot of time making another cup of coffee and then, you know, getting up, walking very slowly to the fridge, hacking off a small piece of cheese, then walking very slowly back to your laptop and then forgetting what it was you’re doing.”

While New York City Mayor Eric Adams says you “can't stay home in your pajamas all day."

In the end, does it really matter where we work if efficiency and productivity are great? We’ve proven that companies can trust us to achieve the same results — or better! — and on time with this hybrid model. Employees can be more flexible, which boosts satisfaction, improves both productivity and retention, and improves diversity in the workplace because corporations can hire through the US and indeed all over the world.

We’ve seen companies make this work in many ways, through virtual lunches, breakout rooms, paint and prosecco parties, and — the most popular — trivia nights.

As much as we strive for normalcy, the last two years cannot simply be erased. So instead of wiping out this era, it's time to embrace the change and find the right world culture for you.

What would get you into the office? Free lunch? A gym membership? Permission to hang out with your dog? Some employers are trying just that.

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Did you hear about the Great Resignation? It isn’t over. Just over two years of pandemic living, many offices are finally returning to full-time or hybrid experiences. This is causing employees to totally reconsider their positions.

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