Imagine, if you will the awesome ideas you could come up with if you only knew how to brainstorm the right way. We all brainstorm at some point. But it doesn’t always produce the ideas that make us go “wow!” We’re normally dragged into a meeting when we have million other things to do, for a so-called new idea generation bonanza. But it doesn’t quite work the way everyone had hoped.
In my previous post Why “Idea Generating” Meetings Don’t Work? I talked about what typically goes wrong in these brainstorming sessions.
And to not be someone who just rants without giving a solution. I’ll be talking about what you can do to get on the right track. And what it takes to hold the perfect brainstorming session. To start coming up with those world changing ideas.
1. Warm up before the main event
Before you and your team start, a good warm up is in order. Play some word games or visit a location related to your brainstorm for inspiration.
This is great for people who haven’t worked together before. As it allows them to get comfortable with each other beforehand. Likewise, it’s perfect for freeing your mind and getting it warmed up for the main event.
2. State the problem
Begin with a statement of the problem. You can’t initiate the brainstorm without a direction into where you’re heading. Not having a clear focus is like driving without a destination. And in the end you’ll arrive at a place where you don’t want to be.
3. Don’t criticize
In the early stages go for quantity over quality. You’ll have time to filter them out later on. At this point you shouldn’t criticize or debate other ideas. Keep the momentum moving forward with ideas.
4. Go for 100 ideas
Okay, you don’t necessarily have to go for 100 ideas. But to keep motivation up, set a target for the number of ideas you want to have within an hour. Adopt the Apollo 13 mentality, you have 1 hour to come up with as many ideas as you can to save the shuttle crew.
5. Write ideas down
This sounds obvious, doesn’t it? However instead of writing them down in your little notebook. Cover the whole table with paper, so everyone can see and write their own ideas down. White boards & post-its are also good alternatives.
6. Build on ideas
Build upon your existing ideas. And when the discussion comes to a standstill. Shift the focus to another idea and repeat the process. This is designed to keep every one’s energy levels up. And to not to demoralize everyone from being stuck on one idea.
7. Be visual
Don’t let your artistic abilities hold you back! Drawing something out in a rough sketch or molding something out of clay can be more descriptive than putting it into words. Don’t be afraid of rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty.
Now you know what to do and you’re all set to hold the perfect brainstorming session.