I remember, when I was a kid, my teachers got excited about introducing their classes to a new catchphrase that was revolutionizing the workplace: Brainstorming.
Brainstorming, it turns out, wasn’t really all that different from what kids do naturally: Sitting around and saying, “Ooh, hey! What if we did this?”
Fast Company, a publication that represents the culture of slick trendiness in business, says that Brainstorming isn’t a useful practice anymore, because it “relies on a thunderstorm metaphor – a sudden swirl of energy that gets everybody’s attention for a moment, then passes by, dissipates, and leaves nothing behind.” Oh, sure, storms may be literal rainmakers, distributing the moisture that makes life possible, but well… that’s beside the point, which is that we can’t go around using catchphrases that were invented in the 1970s.
So, Fast Company has a proposal for a new catchphrase: Brainswarming. You see, with Brainswarminng, you don’t just have a momentary storm of people coming up with creative ideas. Instead, you have people perch around, preening, for a longer period of time, displaying their creativity, like a swarm of bees or a flock of birds. Everyone knows how creative flocks of birds are, right? And bees! Well, they never make a honeycomb the same way twice, do they?
Just think of it, with Brainswarming, you don’t just get water, which, let’s face it, is rather thin. Besides, everyone knows now that water comes from bottles, which come from vending machines… not from storms in the sky! We can do better now. With Brainswarming, people will act like swarms of animals do, and leave behind large amounts of solid fertilizer, which then can be harvested into enormous piles of… creativity!
The trouble with Brainswarming, though, is that it has been so successful in expanding human creativity that, already, over the weekend, it became obsolete. Get with it, Fast Company! People have moved on, and need a new catchphrase now.
Ooh, hey! What if for the next catchphrase, we can call it Brainsmarming! In Brainsmarming you get a bunch of smarmy people together, who preen and make a lot of noise, and shit all over everything, but then… wait for it… you slap a pretty graphic on top of it to distract from what’s really going on. I think Fast Company is uniquely positioned to ride this next wave of… creativity.