Art of a Good Brainstorm
By definition Brainstorming is a conference technique of solving specific problems amassing information, stimulating creative thinking, developing new ideas, etc., by unrestrained and spontaneous participation in discussion.
A lot can be accomplished with a good brainstorming session, yet some brainstorms produce more than others. Here’s a short list of things needed to help get things going and keep them moving.
- Nothing compares to a good sized whiteboard or chalkboard to capture all of the ideas being thrown out. As the session progresses, some people will find benefit in seeing things from before to help spur them on to other thoughts.
- Assembling your team to engage in the session will help provide a variety of viewpoints and thoughts. Depending on the project, it is sometimes important to include people from different departments so that you can have a well rounded discussion.
- Some people need to munch and crunch to get their minds racing. Don’t go too overboard on this though, too much food will create the opposite effect and the mind can become stagnant and over stimulated.
- If you are planning on brainstorming for over 45 mins, you may want to include short 5 minute breaks throughout the session. By creating a short break where people can get up and walk, it will allow them to reenergize and come back with a fresh set of eyes on what has been captured on the board so far.
- Capture EVERYTHING. Even if it doesn’t seem like it is the right answer or right thought at the time, it may come back and spur an idea that is correct down the road. Every session is different, every problem has a unique solution. The roadmap to those solutions looks different every time.
We use brainstorms for a lot around our office, not only does it help push the envelope in terms of solutions that make our clients look great, it also helps develop nice team camaraderie and an office atmosphere which is conducive for every thing else we are hoping to achieve.