Purposeful or Random Brainstorming?

A guest blog post by Naomi from Mindomo.

Which side are you on?

There have been great debates regarding the efficiency of brainstorming in project and business planning, productivity enhancement and problem solving. Some argue that brainstorming is a powerful tool for boosting creative ideas especially as people collaborate together as part of the same group. Others suggest that brainstorming is more efficient when the person is generating ideas on its own without being influenced by the thought process of other group members. Along the same lines, in one of his articles posted in The New Yorker, Jonah Lehrer makes the point that group brainstorming stifles personal creativity. His conclusion was based on an empirical research study performed with university students from Yale University in 1958.

So, which side are you on? Has brainstorming been efficient for the development of your business life so far or not?

The debate regarding the utility of brainstorming may not be solved on the spot, in the light of a one true answer. And for this very reason it may be that the question in itself may not have been well asked to begin with. It all depends on the perspective someone is having on a particular issue or topic.

Firstly, visualize the concept on a mind map

Here’s a suggestion on how you can expand your thinking and allow yourself to visualize and analyze a concept by looking at the big picture so you won’t be tempted to look at it from one point of view only.

With the help of Mindomo mind mapping application have a look at “brainstorming” and the questions mentioned above and analyze other possible options as you branch out ideas on a mind map:

Brainstormining

Secondly, give your concept a purpose

a. Know and define the topic

In this case the topic is already known as “Brainstorming”. And when placed on a mind map it becomes the central topic as it can be seen in the illustration above.

b. Research information about the topic

On a mind map, you can insert the links and keep track of your research data, having access to the desired links straight from the mind map you created.

c. Set objectives

Starting from the central topic, add other main topics that are related to the central topic or that help explain it and then branch out into clear objectives which you want to focus on as you develop your mind map.

d. Add actions to your objectives

Without establishing the right steps that need to be taken in order to achieve your objectives, your brainstorming will be purposeless. Give purpose to your brainstorming by identifying the action you need to take in order to make it efficient.

e. Get the group involved

Ask your team members to provide useful feedback and contribute with their ideas to the development of your concept. A collaborative approach may enrich your experience of brainstorming depending on how active the group members are, how focused they are on the topic and how involved they are in the process.

And now see in a snapshot the details that you should focus on to make your brainstorming purposeful by using mind mapping:

Mindmapping

Thirdly, learn how to use the concept for your work process

Just because you know or you can define a certain concept, idea or topic it does not necessarily mean that you are prepared to use it, or understand its relevance for your work process. So, before jumping to conclusions ask yourself if you are ready to learn how to make the best of an idea, in this case: are you ready to make the best of brainstorming and learn how to use it so that your work is more efficient?

Deciding Your Child’s Fate: The Importance of Choosing the Right Baby Name

Childs Fate

Throughout the next nine months, you and your partner are going to throw dozens of baby names around as you try to find the one that sounds just right for your little bundle of joy. While the baby naming process can be exciting, it is also a big responsibility. This is the name your child is going to have for the rest of her life — this means you have to consider not only her school-aged years but also her adulthood and professional lives. Find a name that suits your style, while also providing your child with endless opportunities in life.

Don’t Rush Into It

If you’ve just taken a home pregnancy test and discovered a positive result, that doesn’t mean you have to decide on your babies name within the next week. Mull over the different name options and spend time discussing them with your partner. This is a big choice and your child will have to carry this name with her the rest of her life. Make a list of several names, and narrow it down together. Consider waiting until your baby is born to make the final decision. When you see her little face, you might instantly know which name is the perfect one for her.
Avoid The Trends
Expectant parents face the challenge of finding a name for their child that accurately conveys their wants, hopes and dreams. They want their child’s name to stand out in a crowd, but they don’t want it to be too odd or different. Avoiding the trends can help you decide on a name that will suit your child not only throughout school but also in her career. Current trends include surnames as first names, vintage names and city names. When trying to pick a name, think about if you personally would want to sign that name for the rest of your life. It will help give you some perspective in this important decision.

Consider the Social Implications
The name you choose for your sweet, angel-faced baby is one day going to be inscribed on a business card. Make sure your baby’s name cultivates respect and allows potential friends, partners and employers to take her seriously. Giving her the name Rainbow will could exclude her from being chosen as a top executive, trustworthy doctor or serious lawyer. The Social Security Administration lists Sophia, Emma, Ava and Olivia as some of the most popular girl names, so it might be best to avoid these choices to ensure that her resume doesn’t get lost in a sea of other similarly-named women.

Spell It Correctly
In theory, it seems like a good idea to give your child’s name a less-than-usual spelling. It will help them stand out and may even give your child a sense of individualism and pride. However, a unique spelling can confuse teachers, classmates and future employers along the way. Don’t doom your child to a life of saying “My name is Aeryn, pronounced like Erin but spelled A-e-r-y-n.” Instead, find a name you love that sets your child apart and spell it the proper and common way. It will make life easier for you and your daughter.

How did you decide on your child’s name? Tell us in the comments.

Why You Should Decide Not To Buy Twitter Followers

Is it worthwhile buying Twitter followers? This is a question that many individuals especially in business tend to ask whenever Social media strategy discussions come up. Social media plays an instrumental role in advertising business or events. Any smart business appreciates the power of influence and this can maximized through Social media like Twitter. Twitter and other networking platforms are a powerful force that can have tremendous influence on your business as well as provide social proof. Social proof is either positive or negative. Having many followers on twitter is positively considered as having success in business. Few followers signify having not done enough to create awareness of the products and services offered or simply not doing things in the right way.

Why It Is Not Advisable To Buy Twitter Followers
Fame on social media is a slow and gradual process. You have to create some sort of rapport with the followers and this cannot be instant. Finding target followers take time and great strategy. Buying these followers will mean individuals who are not interested in what are trying to do or say. Engaging your customers and the potential customers is critical in attaining a strong sales force. Broadcasting by buying followers is counterproductive. Stella results cannot be achieved by pursuing shortcuts like buying of followers. Great rewards come with time and effort in creating a natural presence on Twitter.

Bought traffic has little or no value in as far as engagement with a particular brand is concerned. In fact, it has negative results in the future when the overall engagement numbers will be low due to artificial followers. Naturally grown followers are the best to have. You can achieve this by actively and positively engaging in twitter chats in your particular area of expertise or specialty.

The bottom line here is quality over quantity. This can be achieved by following people who you are particular interest in like experts in your area of business. Also, follow those who are relevant to your business and you will start to see people following back. Any retweets from these people will be more than endorsements.

When your consumers discover your “fake followers” the repercussions may be too grave to bear for your business. It is disingenuous and worst of all dishonest and no one would want to do business with such a firm or individual.

People may have different reasons to buy twitter followers. It is not worthwhile to buy followers if you are targeting to grow your business. Consider the negative fallout you may encounter from both the customers and potential customers. It may be done for instant fame but not for business or personal image.

This article was provided by Carl Shaw of Followersboosts.com. You can contact them for details how to buy twitter followers for your account.

How to Decide What Kind of Car You Can Really Afford

Car You Can Afford

A recent Gallup poll shows that only about 30% of people plan and follow a detailed family budget and have long term goals for financial security. Yet a majority of those who don’t have a budget or long term plans say they would like to.
If you’re among those Americans struggling to make ends meet, you realize that having a well-planned family budget would be a great help. You also know that you’ll need to prioritize your expenditures and account for the essentials first. One thing at the top of the list for most people, after shelter, food and health outlays, is transportation. Unless you’re lucky enough to live within walking or biking distance of work and grocery stores and such, that means owning and maintaining a car. Like everything else in a budget, there are ways to save money when buying, owning and maintaining a vehicle. Here are some important considerations:

Should You Buy New Or Used?
It’s generally more economical to buy a good used car rather than a new one, because a new car will lose a significant amount of its value as soon as it’s driven off the lot. It helps even more if you can pay cash and avoid monthly payments and interest.

But as the auto experts at Edmunds point out, in this economy things are a bit different. With new car dealers offering extremely generous terms in order to boost flagging sales, often buying new can be a better deal in the long run. But it’s still true that if you can buy a reliable used car for cash, it’s probably your best bet.

Should You Buy Or Lease?
Leasing a car can be a very attractive option in some situations. When interest rates go up on new cars it might be a good time to lease. If you use your car as part of your business, you might be able to write the lease payments off on your taxes. It also gives you the enjoyment and reliability of driving a new car every few years. There are no worries about depreciation and large repair bills like you would have if you buy a new car. And you can often lease with poor credit, or alternatively obtain a poor credit loan.

On the other hand, when your lease is up, you don’t have anything to show for your payments. Leasing is a great option for some, but consider carefully before you decide.

Don’t Forget Maintenance!
How much of your income you should set aside for maintenance can be a bit tricky to calculate, but start with the regular maintenance you know your car will need such as oil and fluid changes, tune ups, brake shoes, windshield wipers, car washes and detailing, and things like new bulbs and fuses. You can come up with a fairly close estimate for these things, or save money by doing the work yourself. And don’t forget your fuel in as part of your maintenance budget.