Brainstorming Conferencing Style

Recently, Maranda Gibson posted a great post here on the Accuconference Blog about music as inspiration to getting things done.  With her words in mind, I started up the ol’ iTunes and turned my thoughts to… well, coming up with thoughts. 

Being creative can be tough sometimes, and it’s often less tough in numbers.  This is where brainstorming comes in.  I found this list of 100 ways to be more creative, from the Idea Champions, and cherry-picked a few that go great with brainstorming and teleconferencing:

12. Invite your customers and vendors to brainstorming sessions – And why not?  After all, if you’re coming up with products for them, or a better work system, where better to get ideas and information from?  Using conference calling makes it easy for them to participate and respects their time.

51. Schedule time with the smartest people at work – It’s always good to surround yourself with good—and smart—people.  A lot of the time though, they’re putting their smarts to use elsewhere.  At the least, always invite the geniuses to your teleconferences.  If they join in, it could raise the quality of your brainstorming ideas.

71. Ask five people how they would improve your idea – A perfect adaption of this idea is to dial-out to five people about halfway through your brainstorming conference call, while your participants are taking a break.  Present to the Five the ideas you’ve come up with and get their fresh perspectives. 

87. Invite an outside facilitator to lead a brainstorming session – Again, with the worldwide availability of teleconferences, you have the power to have almost anyone as a speaker or participant.  How cool would it be to have William Shatner or Sean Connery as your facilitator?  (Assuming price was no object of course.)

These are my ideas based on the Idea Champions’s ideas.  What do you do to make your brainstorming sessions more creative?