How to Develop Active Minds

Nurturing active minds is as much a part of developing a corporate mind-set as thinking habits and practices. Developing a corporate mind-set starts at the top of the company and within each department, and it is critical to long-term success on this front. Are the leaders in your company dreamers? They need to be if they are to truly lead your company past the competition and into a bright future.

As for the pure mechanics of an active mind, how do you get people to come up with more ideas? One simple way is to actually keep score. "I'd like to see 50 new ways to capitalize on this opportunity," you might say when soliciting some solutions. You can further push your people by challenging them: "Make sure you have your 200 outtakes within reach in case I want to look at the 'chaff.' " That kind of encouragement will certainly do it.

Also, when conducting brainstorming sessions, make quantity your goal, not quality. The quality will take care of itself.

Expect many solutions to even the smallest of problems. Develop this thinking style at the lowest levels in your organization, not just at the top. Tomorrow's thought leaders in your company will come from today's rank and file. My 100 MPH Thinking tool is particularly effective for activating minds.

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