Why an organized brainstorm is the answer to your business problems

By Ellen Oosterwijk

Getting the real insight is what is important. At first, I thought I knew what the outcome would be, but I was so wrong”. – Marketing, Arch & Hook

This is one of the reactions received after following our newest wonder workshop called: the Organized Brainstorm, and yes it does what it says it does, it organizes your brain through a structured brainstorm.  

Marije, our UX/UI consultant, is our Marie Kondo. For those who know the Japanese cleaning guru will understand how freeing it is to sort out your life. I wanted to be part of the hype and see if Marije could bring some clarity to me. Even though I helped coordinate and pilot the workshop, I wanted to experience the workshop first-hand using one of the organizational challenges I was struggling with. Always know what you market, right?  

I started off the year in a new role to help form and improve Dynamic People’s Customer Success. I always hear people say, ‘A happy wife is a happy life’, so I thought why not apply that for our own customers. If our partners are happy, we at Dynamic People are happy. 

The moment I got stuck

The challenge I was facing was around Customer Success. For the past weeks I have been researching, in-depth interviewing, and shadowing my co-workers to gather information around this topic. I was trying to see the bigger picture and come up with a game plan for the year. Suddenly I had all this information and a sense of what should be done, but I couldn’t figure out a starting point. It felt chaotic and I was unsure of my next best action. I needed the rescue of Marije and seized the opportunity to try the workshop myself.  


For Marije Kondo to guide me through the chaos she sent me and a few appointed project team members a survey up front. Do we have a clear goal? What is our end-goal? What is the biggest issue we face now? Followed by more validating and open questions. We all filled it out and sat down ready to face the storm during the Organised Brainstorm the next day.  

The first eyeopener

With a big smile on her face Marije showed us the somewhat surprising results of the survey. Clearly, we weren’t aligned at all. Realizing that my fellow co-workers prioritize certain aspects of the same subject could potentially be the reason of slow progress and confusion. I mean this challenge has been around for quite some time. We always tell our customers know where you are right now and know where you want to go, so after the revelation of Marije I felt very focused and wanted to get to the bottom of this.  

Stick all the stuff you think off on a sticky note 

A big part of the workshop was, to write out everything that came to mind about the topic following a certain sequence of questions. After the brain dump it was time to categorize it and structure it visually. It is the same how Japanese cleaning guru Marie Kondo organizes clothes. Throw everything on a pile and then decide what to keep, categorize and visually place it somewhere nicely (I recommend this to my readers as well). It took just over an hour until we had clearly categorized our brains and mutual agreed on the output. I instantly felt relaxed but energized at the same time. Finally, we’re getting somewhere!  

Destination now known

Looking at the sticky note board it was obvious. Each category showed where the organizational gaps were. By cleaning out brain storage and freeing up extra thinking capacity we directly formulated an ideal situation based on those categories. The last step of the workshop was to identify, characterize, and prioritize all people involved. This step is important. When you have a goal in mind, you have to see who is impacted by the journey towards the goal. Again, using everybody’s input, I was surprised to see how many people were going to be part of this journey.  

The takeaway

Marije guided us in two hours through the chaos and helped us pinpoint the priority and best next action. As a result we had a high-level overview and consolidated knowledge that truly gave us the insights we need to feel empowered tackling this challenge. An Organized Brainstorm offers a foundation for future projects. It is your roadmap to success. It doesn’t matter what type of problem or business case you have, after that session you feel that hands-on mentality and clarity.  

Marije Kondo thank you!  


Do you also have a goal in mind and want to make sure you cover all aspects? Do you have a challenge, and you don’t know where to start? Anything you want to brainstorm about? You may e-mail me at ellen.oosterwijk@be-empowered.nl / ellen.oosterwijk@dynamicpeople.com  

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