A good ideation session is what creative types live for, but without guidelines, brainstorms can devolve into unproductive time-sucks. Follow these tips to make the most of your next brainstorm session.
2. Clearly define the meeting objectives. The brainstorm organizer should send
relevant information to the team at least 24 hours in advance and encourage
individual brainstorming beforehand (30-60 minutes), so that everyone
comes with some ideas.
1 SET EXPECTATIONS
3. 2 ASSEMBLE THE RIGHT TEAM
Size the team according to needs, but keep it under seven people. (Experts have found
that having too many people makes brainstorms ineffective.) Assemble a diverse group,
including representatives from various backgrounds and disciplines.
4. 3 CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT
Pick an environment that allows people to think and be creative without distraction.
Take advantage of more inspiring settings if the office isn’t quite cutting it.
5. 4 UNPLUG
Don’t allow phones and computers
during group brainstorms. Relax,
Instagram will still be there after.
6. 5 DOCUMENT EVERY IDEA
The organizer should write down every idea—even those that don't seem appealing
at first. Try to develop each idea as much as possible before moving on.
7. 6 HOLD BACK CRITICISM
Most ideas are fragile and need time to incubate. Don’t kill them
immediately by criticizing. It’s important to build an inclusive
environment where good ideas can flourish.
Egos are not conducive to collaboration. Help develop other people’s ideas,
too. The best idea is the one that solves the problem—for everyone.
DON’T GET ATTACHED TO YOUR OWN IDEAS
9. 8 COMBINE & IMPROVE IDEAS
Hivemind can be a beautiful thing. Look for ways to combine
two ideas to form a single great idea—when it makes sense.
10. 9 STAY FOCUSED
It’s easy to stray off topic and splinter into side
conversations, but it’s important to keep the group
focused on the objectives at hand.
11. 10 BREAK WHEN IT MAKE SENSE TO
Break when you have what you need—or if it is clear that what you
need is further clarification, additional ideas, etc. Don’t bang your
head against the wall.