Brownian Thinking

When I need to generate creative ideas, I use a simple trick: I set a meeting with other people.

Having a meeting somewhere in the future, provides a deadline, which forces my brain to start thinking.  As a bonus, the meeting itself adds additional ideas from others and the creative juices flow abundantly.

I have observed another way to generate and bounce off ideas: Brownian Thinking.

In physics, Brownian motion is the random motion of a particle as a result of collisions with surrounding gaseous molecules.

Sharing and bouncing off random, unfiltered and unfinished thoughts, which are verbalized directly to others is called Brownian Thinking. It’s a live stream of consciousness, which helps the streamer to generate and organize their own thinking.

This entire streaming process is usually very confusing for the listener, but generally harmless and often entertaining. We tend to lovingly call these Brownian Thinkers authentic.

Yet, when you’re in a position of power, Brownian Thinking can be dangerous. Since leaders operate in a fishbowl, every single word counts. Any unfiltered thought shared with others when you’re in Brownian Thinking mode, may be interpreted as an instruction to act upon.

Authenticity is about fearlessly saying what’s on your mind. Discipline is about being effective about when and how to say it.

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