It's happened to everyone. You're sitting at your desk, lying on the couch, or even trying to fall asleep when an idea jumps into your head. You hastily reach for pen and paper to jot down this wonderful idea so that it can be remembered and cultivated the next day. You jot down something like “tethered picture” or “life path” or some other random combination of letters and when you get into the office the next day, all you can do is scratch your head and wonder what you meant.
It might come back to you, it might not, but if it doesn't, don't trash the idea. Maybe your brain just needs a little coaxing to bring it back to the surface. It could be the greatest idea in the history of your company, it could be the cure for cancer, who knows, but don't trash it just yet.
Here is a suggestion: it's the perfect time for an impromptu conference call.
Send out an email to your co-workers, asking if they have a moment free to dial into a conference call for brainstorming. Tell them the story of how the seeds of a wonderful idea were planted in the middle of the night and now you just need a little water to help it grow (remember humor is a great ice breaker!). If you are looking for an outside opinion, use your social network to get some feedback from the people who might end up using your product. Send out a tweet or a message to your Facebook friends and ask them to DM you or send you a message if they would like to help you brainstorm. Since these are often the people using or interested in your product, surely they would like to be a part of a new idea you've had.
Getting others on the conference call can not only help jog your memory, but can also be the key to another great idea looming around the corner.
Do you reach out to your community of friends, followers, and co-workers to help you build on, brainstorm, or remember a great idea? Why or why not?