Team brainstorming seems like a good idea at least on paper. more minds mean more processing power, and you can take advantage of the full experience and creativity of all team members. When one member gets stuck with an idea, another member’s creativity and experience can take the idea to the next stage.
Here are a few tips to help your next brainstorm become a resounding success:
- Set a Safe Environment: to make sure everyone is heard, you have to set rules, facilitate the process and get people to participate with respect for others.
- Make the objectives crystal clear from the start: What are you trying to find/solve?
- Start Individually: While groups generate better ideas than a lone thinker, you’ll still want your group to prep for the brainstorming session.
- INVITE A DIVERSE GROUP OF PEOPLE: invite new people from other teams to your brainstorms–people with different skill sets and experiences to help get you out of your rut and see things in a new way, It’ll give you that great mix of new perspectives and contextual knowledge that’ll help you land on ideas that are both original and doable.
- Just as with other collaborative meeting techniques, allow everyone to have a say. Facilitate the session so that the people who are quiet have equal time in the spotlight as those who have the tendency to dominate discussions.
- Be silly and have fun! No question or idea is stupid.
Here are some of the most common techniques for idea generation
Some variations to try are brain-writing or mind mapping. Brain-writing is exactly the same as brainstorming except employees should be writing their ideas down instead of saying them out loud. This is said to eliminate the influence that the first few ideas have over the rest and to set the pace for more creative and out of the box ideas to come through.
A technique like this works best within creative organizations that deal more with visual or artistic offerings. Ask people to put some idea into a short series of words, a picture, or anything else like this. Try to fit pieces together to see how peoples’ ideas can work together to tackle a certain problem.
It might seem silly the first time you do it, but role-playing can generate a lot of really good ideas. Assign different employees a role to play, such as acting like a customer, an executive, a team leader, a failed sale, or any other role that you can think of which might be present around your organization.
When employees are in these roles, they are told to try to think as that person would think. It can time a little time to adjust to this way of thinking, but once the employees start to get into the activity they will be able to come up with problems and concerns from each side of the scenario. You can then work on how to solve those issues as well as taking ideas from each viewpoint.
Many teams have found this method particularly effective. One of the truths that’s present in most people is that it’s easier to think negatively than positively. So, instead of having people come up with ideas to solve a problem, have them think up ways on how they could absolutely ruin a project.
The best brainstorming place
1- Open Space
Open Space is a great format for generating ideas for improvement in almost any area of business. Typically it involves much larger participation, sometimes the whole of the company, in an offsite day in which the aim is to stimulate and capture all ideas related to whatever the strategic topic (or topics) are
2- Creativity room
a creative workspace provides many physical, emotional, and professional benefits like Enhances Imagination, and Increases Productivity.
Here are some activities that will help you create more creative ideas
1- Shapes and Perceptions
This exercise will help employees develop skills of looking at things through various angles. Give each individual a picture that has three shapes drawn on it. It can be simple designs like a circle, hexagon, and triangle in any color. Now ask them to describe the shapes in ways that are different from the obvious. A person may describe the circle as a basketball or even the Sun! The whole point about this exercise is to change the way we perceive things.
2- Blind drawing game
Divide your team into groups of two each. Have each person sit with their back to the other. One person will have a picture. The other person will have a blank sheet of paper and a pen. The team member with the picture must not show the other person the image. Instead, they are to describe the image without using words that give it away, while the other team member is to draw what is being described
3- Uses of ordinary objects
Pick an ordinary object and think of as many uses for it as you possibly can but creative uses. For example, a cup can be used to/as:
it can be used as a jewelry box, Sand Castle, Gardening with kids.