A brainstorming session is an essential element for driving innovation. It can, however be enormous waste of time if done wrong. This means excluding voices, not identifying the objective of a brainstorming session and being too narrow.
The framework itself is basic: you are given a topic, and, in a limited time, a person or a group generates ideas without stopping until time runs out. Ideas can be written on a blackboard, on colored paper or in a document on the computer.
A successful brainstorming session, however, has many other essential elements. It’s important to set ground rules ahead of time and ensure these are communicated to every participant. Generating these rules as a team also gives everyone ownership of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors.
Here are 7 rules to follow to ensure your brainstorming session is a success:
- Facilitate the creation of the maximum number of ideas
- All ideas are welcome, do not judge or criticize them
- Quantity before quality (in this phase)
- Build on ideas that have already been suggested
- Every person and every idea has the same value
- The property of ideas belongs to the group, not to individuals.
- Classify the ideas into groups and name them according to their overarching theme.
Most of all, make the session interactive and fun for everyone involved. After the session, give the team time to sit back, go for a walk or do whatever they need to do to ruminate about the ideas they have generated.
Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash.