This is the 3rd year of OSP® magazine’s Game Changers program, and each year I get increasingly excited facilitating it.
During the planning process, our managing editor, Karen, brought up a great point about how OSP can foster a brain trust for the future. After our chat, I did a little digging about this brain trust concept and how it applies to creative and forward-thinking companies today.
The earliest mention of a brain trust seems to be during Franklin Roosevelt’s time in office. (Just slightly before my time.) The Brains Trust, a term coined by James Kieran, a New York Times reporter, referred to a group of brainiacs FDR gathered to help him see beyond what he could not see. This group helped FDR develop an economic plan that became the foundation of the New Deal.
Pretty good idea, eh?
Another example was recently shared by Fast Company. They published an excerpt from Ed Catmull’s book, Creativity Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, describing Pixar’s Brain Trust. Catmull said, “A hallmark of a healthy creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions and criticisms. Our decision making is better when we draw on the collective knowledge of unvarnished opinions of the group.” Catmull goes on to share with blunt candor that in the early stages of their films, “all of our movies suck.” He continues, “Pixar films are not good at first, and our job is to make them so — to go, as I say, ‘from suck to not-suck.’” He also shared that Pixar’s Brain Trust was built on pure candor, opposing perspectives, and great humor.
Even better idea, right?
Now I’m not saying that OSP is as important as the future of our country or as creative as Pixar. Still, I like to think the insights of our Game Changers serve as our own little OSP Brain Trust.
Read the insights of 12 very smart folks with differing perspectives starting on page 14. And perhaps consider forming your own version of a brain trust. Your organizations are full of extremely brilliant folks just looking for an outlook to share their perspectives. You may be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.