How to Make Sure Every Brainstorming Session Produces Brilliant Ideas
For as long as people have been getting together in groups to tackle projects, people have been holding brainstormings sessions. Brainstorming is an essential first step in any personal, professional, or creative project– so why doesn’t it receive more of our attention? If your idea of brainstorming is simply sitting down with a pen and a piece of paper, you’re potentially missing out on a whole lot of brilliant ideas.
Why is it so important for your to re-evaluate your brainstorming strategy? And more importantly, how can you access your untapt creative potential? We’re glad you asked. In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about brainstorming, including:
- 3 reasons you should re-evaluate your brainstorming strategy
- Tips for shaking up your next brainstorming session
- A checklist of tools you should have on hand anytime you brainstorm
Reasons to Re-evaluate Your Brainstorming Strategy ASAP
Brainstorming is the first step in the project-planning process, which means the rest of your creative or professional project will stem from what your team comes up with during the brainstorming session. No pressure, right?
In case you weren’t convinced that keeping your brainstorming strategies up-to-date was important, here are our top 3 reasons you should reevaluate your brainstorming strategy. Brainstorming:
- Builds teams
- Allow for Innovation
- Keeps projects on track
1. Effective brainstorming helps build better teams.
What sets the best and most effective teams apart from the rest? It’s really pretty simple– effective teams are effective communicators. Brainstorming is a bonding experience that helps team members get to know how the others think. Not only does this allow team members to play off of each others’ strengths– it also makes it easier to resolve conflicts that may arise because it gives team members a sense of where their peers are coming from.
2. A good brainstorming session lets new voices be heard.
When you think about your organization’s ultimate goals– the direction the company is moving in, the culture you are creating– the humble brainstorming session may not come to mind, but it should. Brainstorming sessions are a great way to get new voices in on the conversation. These are the voices of the future movers and shakers of your organization– give them an opportunity to be heard! It’s a great way to foster your organization’s growth.
3. Brainstorming is the best way to keep projects– creative, professional, or otherwise– from getting stuck in a rut.
Anybody who has worked on a project knows what it feels like to hit a roadblock. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can’t come up with a good solution on your own. Brainstorming prevents projects from being derailed by these sorts of roadblocks. Getting more people involved means more ideas to keep your project moving. If two heads are better than one, just imagine how much better an entire team is.
How to Host a Successful Brainstorming Session
When you hold a brainstorming session, you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck, so to speak. But how can you make sure that your brainstorming session is as effective as possible?
Here are some easy ways to make sure your next brainstorming session generates the best ideas possible:
- Keep it cozy. Yes, getting more people involved translates to more ideas… but only to a certain point. If your group gets too big– we’ve found that 10 is a pretty good limit– you risk losing people in the crowd.
- One thing at a time. Before asking for your team’s input, make sure the problem you want to tackle is specific and well-defined. That way, your brainstorming session can be more focused and therefore more fruitful.
- Location, location, location. If possible, hold your brainstorming session in a space that fosters communication and creativity rather than a traditional board room setting.
- Fly solo. Before discussing as a group, encourage your team to organize and record their own thoughts. That way, everyone should have something to say.
- No idea is a bad idea. Create an environment that is open to exploring possibilities and encourages people to participate. Reiterating that “No idea is a bad idea” is helpful.
- Circle back. Throughout the brainstorming session, circle back to your original task. Are you thinking of solutions that will address the issue at hand? If you’ve gotten off track, it’s the perfect time to get back to business.
- Try something new. There are a variety of brainstorming strategies out there to help your group think creatively. Do a little research, and try working one into your next brainstorming session. The results may surprise you!
Tools You Should Bring to the Table Every Time You Brainstorm
No matter what you’re doing, having the right tools is the first step towards success. If you’re building a house, that might mean a hammer and nails. If you’re hosting a brainstorming for a new project, these tools will help you make the most of your session:
- A brainstorming template. Lots of ideas come up during a brainstorming session. It’s what makes them wonderful and effective, but all of those ideas can also be difficult to organize. Keep your thoughts together by using a brainstorming template— bonus points if you leave the doc in the cloud, where your whole team can access it whenever they want to.
- Sticky notes and Sharpies. Do you need an easy way to work collect and organize your team’s ideas? Look no further than your desk drawer. Sticky notes and Sharpies make it to visualize how concepts and ideas relate to one another and fit together. Plus, the brightly colored notes might even encourage creativity.
- Notebooks or laptops. A great way to avoid letting 1 or 2 strong personalities run the brainstorming session is to encourage your team to think about the project independently before bringing the group together. Make sure everyone comes prepared with their preferred note-taking equipment. (Maybe even try Notepad by ClickUp!).
Brainstorming is the first step in virtually every project you will undertake in your personal and professional life. Make sure you’re getting the most out of your brainstorming sessions by using these simple tools and tips to refresh your creativity today!
This is a sponsored post for Dropbox. All opinions are our own.