Are your brainstorming meetings a creative gold mine or time-wasting disaster?
Brainstorming is a spontaneous and genius way to finding the solution to any problem, bring new ideas together, or simply sharing ideas with your work colleges.
Brainstorming individually or with your teams is an essential way to generate fresh and living ideas which facilitate business growth, and ultimately bring new and exciting products are services to your valued customers.
Here’s our top 7 tips on how to hold a killer brainstorm meeting.
1. Assign a group leader
Assign someone who can guide the meeting in a productive and effective ways to ensure the meeting is kept on topic and does not drift to unnecessary discussion which can cause attention to be diverted and ultimately time will be wasted. The person who is running the meeting should have intricate and specific knowledge about the project or idea so they can prove useful and direct the conversation to that which is original and displays successful teamwork. The leader should be a social and outgoing person who is familiar with providing direction in a non –authoritative way, conversation should be eased in different directions not forced.
2. Determine your problem, and goals to solve it.
Before you commence your meeting, you should determine the problem you wish to address, and also set out a few goals to present solutions to your problems. This ensures the best is obtained from your meeting and that you can walk away from your meeting with an effective solution giving you clear objectives of the way ahead in a particular project. To help kickstart conversations, the problem should be visually displayed on a flipchart or whiteboard.
3. Generate ideas individually
Allow attendees to think spontaneously and by themselves. This can allow them to express their individual talent and showcase their creative flare through exploring a fresh idea. Give each a block of sticky notes and encourage them to write as many ideas as they can, then display on a wall. This process of writing, visualising and sharing will create a chain-reaction of idea-generation which can then be worked, grouped and moved accordingly.
4. Don’t judge
In order to carry out an effective brainstorming meeting you want to look for quantity rather than quality, so any ideas that are contributed, take it and move along. Don’t dwell on whether it is good or bad idea, review it at the end. In order to make the most of the brainstorming session take everything that comes, and in the end, it can broaden the ideas and allow for new and creative aspects to be included in a project, or fresh ways of talking through a problem.
5. Allow for crazy- crazy is good!
If you really want to witness the value of brainstorming then don’t allow yourself to simply avoid outlandish ideas. Often the best and most successful ideas stem from those that seemed the worst! So allow your attendees to think outside the box, allow them to think wild and think big, this brings enthusiasm and vigour to your workplace.
6. Start General End Specific
Firstly, machine gun raid, similar to the ammunition of a machine gun, initial ideas should be widespread, random and spontaneous. Secondly, if you are the moderator of the meeting and you begin to hear a repeat of similar ideas then you should encourage participants to come away from the particular topic and move onto a new one to bring about new and fresh ideas. As the meeting progresses, being to hone in and refine your ideas in order to find the ones which best address your goals, this can ensure that the best and most effective solutions or ideas are discovered easily.
7. Set a time limit
Setting a time limit, means that your participants know that the agreed goals must be met within the given time which allows them to ensure they work efficiently and effectively to brainstorm as many ideas for a project of solutions to a problem. If you have a strong team, those that are pressured to a time will be able to stay on track keeping their ideas specific and valuable. Using a physical sand-timer is a great and visual way to stay on track with discussions.
“Vision without action is merely a dream, action without visions just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world!” James Athur Barker
The words quoted by James Athur Barker sum up the importance of brainstorming, in order to see your vision succeed you must determine the best ways to solve a problem or execute a fresh idea to its highest potential, therefore without the initial widespread ideas and creativity, therefore without the initial widespread ideas and creativity your vision cannot come to pass which highlights the importance of brainstorming for a business.
At Myndflo, we are on a mission to help people and teams make big ideas happen. We are doing this by innovating the collaborative tools that we need to visualise ideas and plan for success.
Enjoy this read?
Sign up to our newsletter for more articles on this and similar topics!