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Brainstorming – How to Get the Juices Flowing

Brainstorming – How to Get the Juices Flowing

Brainstorming – How to Get the Juices Flowing

Effective brainstorming sessions may be fun, but they shouldn’t be uncontrolled free-for-alls. You want the atmosphere to be relaxed so that creativity flows, but you also need some structure to ensure productivity. Striking this balance takes planning.

Here are some strategies to make your next brainstorming meeting a success:

  • Have an outsider join the meeting. This can provide a fresh point of view. Choose someone who hasn’t been involved in previous sessions and who doesn’t have a vested interest in any particular outcome.

 

  • Try speed games. Make everyone offer 10 ideas in five minutes. The tactic discourages self-censorship.

 

  • Don’t count on employees alone. Sometimes ideas don’t immediately flow, so bring some ideas with you to get things started.

 

  • Don’t forget food. When people are hungry, their minds tend to wander.

 

  • Keep things moving. Don’t aim exclusively for high- quality ideas, but also for quantity. You want lots and lots of ideas to choose from.

 

  • Don’t rule out impractical ideas—at least at first. You want to encourage creativity. Worrying about feasibility doesn’t facilitate new thinking.

 

  • Stay seated when you offer up an idea. If it bombs, you don’t want to literally and figuratively sink back down in your chair.

 

From there make sure you agree what the next actions should be, any time frames and who is responsible. Make sure you circulate the session notes, so people feel their time and contribution were worthwhile.



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