The Brainstorming Series

Most regular readers of this site know how much I detest change. But that doesn’t mean that I’m totally against trying something new every now and then. To the delight of some and the dismay of others, I tried something new and different when I started the video segments of One Take Only in the summer of 2011.

From the looks of things, it appears most enjoyed having Paul Dalbey as a guest-blogger this past Wednesday. The first year or two that I had this site, I would have the occasional guest-blog from time to time. Somewhere along the way, that stopped for no apparent reason. Before Wednesday, the only person that had been sharing this spot lately was my wife, Susan, giving the occasional female perspective.

But I had an idea last week. I want to start a new series of posts here from time to time. The series will be known as The Brainstorming Series.

If you’ve ever had any type of job, you’ve probably taken part in a brainstorming session. Whether in an executive boardroom, an undersized conference room or huddled around a water-cooler in a manufacturing plant – you’ve probably been asked, or forced, to participate in some type of brainstorming session.

By definition, a brainstorming session is a discussion where anything goes. There is no such thing as a stupid or way-out-there-idea. Someone usually writes down every single suggestion on a particular topic and it is discussed. Some are immediately discounted for whatever reason, while others emerge out of nowhere as a great idea.

Such is the idea here with this series. As much as we love the on-track product, there are a lot of serious issues with the Verizon IndyCar Series. There has been no shortage of opinions on how the powers-that-be should go about fixing these issues. What I would like to do is take a couple of topics that are near and dear to my heart and throw out some wild crazy ideas on how things might be changed. Then readers would comment on the viability of such ideas and throw out their own ideas.

Ridicule and name-calling will be discouraged. Except for this past Monday, that doesn’t happen here very often. Instead, wild ideas are encouraged. Sometimes it’s the crazy and off-the-wall way of thinking that leads great ideas. I will refrain from using one of my least favorite corporate catch-phrases – think outside the box – but you get the idea.

After I take a couple of stabs at topics, I will open it up to guest bloggers. I have already contacted (I despise the term “reached out” – another corporate catch-phrase) a few select bloggers and also former IndyCar bloggers and have gotten a favorable response from many that are ready to get on board with this.

I don’t believe for a minute that Mark Miles and his closed circle of cronies ever sit down to read this site. But the hope here is that someone along the way may see an idea from writers or readers, and it is so good and revolutionary that it makes its way to the top.

Many of us care deeply for this sport and we are troubled by some of the things we are seeing and not seeing. Rather than getting on Track Forum and whining and complaining – this would be a way to discuss topics and offer possible solutions. At the very least, the worst thing that can happen is that we get a lot of things off of our collective chests.

So, here’s the plan – assuming there is nothing earth-shattering that happens in the next few days. So that I can enjoy the Fourth of July holiday by not sitting behind a keyboard, I will take off next Monday July 6th. Then on Wednesday July 8th, I will tackle a topic that I’ve been wondering about for a long time.

The Brainstorming series will not be a constant thing. They will be interspersed here and there with no regularity to the frequency. It will essentially be whenever I have a topic or question that is so hot, I need to discuss it by throwing out ideas. Or if any of the bloggers I contacted have a burning issue they want to discuss, they can contact me and let me know they’d like to post something.

This may be a royal flop, or we may find it to be something of great benefit. Trying something new like this is an act of brainstorming within itself. We’ll see how it goes.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy Fourth of July, and I look forward to everyone’s reaction and anticipation next Wednesday.

George Phillips

9 Responses to “The Brainstorming Series”

  1. Br!an McKay in Florida Says:

    I look forward to reading the brainstorming and guest-blogging.

  2. billytheskink Says:

    Racer’s Indycar 2018 series was excellent in general, but the number of fan perspectives was dwarfed by those of current and former participants and stakeholders. I, certainly, look forward to this.

  3. Ron Ford Says:

    I spent some of my working life working for a major printing company that prints most of the books and magazines sold in this country. (If you are not familiar with what books and magazines are, just Google it). Anyway, at one point the company decided to emulate some successful Japanese manufacturing processes, notably the LEAN program. We has some brainstorming sessions during which we were encouraged to focus in on details such as keeping the facilities clean, well lit, efficient, and with JIT-just in time inventory control. Someone in management came up with the name for these brainstorming sessions as “Think Small”. Well, I think when you encourage folks to think small, small is what you get.

    Past comments here through the years have shown that some pretty bright folks weigh in here on a regular basis. I don’t include my self in that category so I am looking forward to the results of George’s brainstorming series. Sort of “IndyCar 2018” without the ads and SPLIT folks.

  4. Early prediction: half the people will want back fenders removed, no ovals except Indy, idolize Surfer’s Paradise and Road America and use words like “pit strategy” and “overtake” and “proper.” the other half will want more ovals, idolize Phoenix and Michigan, want more American drivers, use words like “unser” and “dirt” and secretly wish for the return of front-engine roadsters.

    • Yannick Says:

      Well, the trouble with wanting back Michigan International Speedway and Phoenix is that ISC had both of them repaved with a different asphalt that makes their parent company’s stock cars go faster around there. The same thing was done to Las Vegas Motor Speedway. So the IndyCar oval fans want back the Michigan and Phoenix of old but these no longer exist.

      But I also have safety concerns over wanting back Road America and Watkins Glen: the kink at the former desperately needs a safety upgrade, and the Esses at the latter also have the famed blue guardrails way too close to the track for open wheel cars. It’s fine for stock cars, though.

      I don’t like Fontana either because of the seams and Kansas Speedway because of how many times they had to call off on-track action due to “weepers” wetting the track with the upwelling water that rained down the previous day.

      As far as I recall, there are no such problems with Kentucky Speedway at Sparta, Kentucky. It is located right in the middle of where IndyCar fans live, too. A Saturday afternoon in September would be a cool date for that track. Here’s hoping that date does not collide with NASCAR.

      Also, here’s hoping Pocono and most importantly, Milwaukee, get a good crowd this year and a good date for next year so they remain on the schedule.

      I don’t believe Fontana will be back, though. That recent race there has upstaged the Indy 500.

  5. Mike Silver Says:

    This is a great idea, George. We need a place to share ideas in a positive environment. I look forward to this series

  6. I love this idea George. Look forward to it.

  7. Why not? I will be curious to see what people think. I do enjoy reading and posting here. The personal attacks elsewhere are a turn off.

  8. This sounds like what Uncle Bernie does all the time across the pond.

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