Gathering different viewpoints, supporting critical thinking, team building – these are just some of the many benefits that brainstorming sessions can bring to your company. However, if you want to enjoy all these benefits, you must manage the brainstorming session in the right way.
On the other hand, sessions like this that are managed in the wrong way will have a negative effect on the business process. If you are looking for the best results, you can use a few methods that have already helped thousands of business. So, here are a few proven methods for brainstorming that you can implement in your next session.
Keep in mind that when we are talking about time, we don’t mean just your time because brainstorming sessions require the presence of employees and other people that you believe that can help. Modern people are busy and a little bit impatient and they definitely don’t want to go to a meeting that feels unproductive and useless.
In case you notice that there are ideas that are not closely related to the topic, simply put them aside on the whiteboard or in your notepad and discuss them another time. In this way, you can show respect to the participants, but you will also use the time you have in the best possible way.
As a leader of a brainstorming session, you will have to optimize this session and make sure that things are making progress in a timely manner.
One of the best techniques for brainstorming is the one that supports participation. After all, this is what all brainstorming sessions are all about – letting team member share their ideas and visions.
If there are just a couple of people that are talking while ten people are sitting and listening, then you are looking at a presentation, not a brainstorming session. A successful brainstorming session is the one where every participant can express their opinion and idea.
Don’t hesitate to name the participants that are a little bit quiet. When the participants that are talking the most are highlighting their ideas, ask them to stop for a minute and ask the people who are less chatty whether they have another idea.
Before the session begins, you should remind everyone that they have been called to this meeting for a good reason. You must point out that you respect their skills, knowledge, experience, and expertise as well as their ideas.
Avoid distractions at the brainstorming session
We are living in a digital age where almost every individual has at least one electronic device which they bring everywhere with them. Smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, iPods – the list is quite long. These devices can be very helpful, but when they are present on brainstorming sessions they become a source of distraction.
Imagine a situation where you are about to present your idea and all of sudden a smartphone starts ringing. So, it’s good to ask the participants to turn off or silence their devices.
In case these sessions are relatively long, the session should have a few breaks and participants can use their electronic devices during these breaks. Distraction is one of the worst things that can happen during activities like this because brainstorming relies on unleashed creativity.
Be open-minded when brainstorming
You should never judge or criticize ideas when you are trying to get creative, especially fresh ideas. As previously mentioned, you will have a chance to asses these ideas later. A successful brainstorming session is not about finding a solution to your problem right away.
This is the first step toward this goal. During this time, you should just encourage participants and write down their ideas. For example, if someone has an idea and the only thing that you find negative about it is the fact that it would probably cost you too much, you should not ignore that idea. After conducting analysis, you might find a way to cut the cost and implement that valuable idea in the business process.
Keep in mind that everyone is equal
Every participant has equal importance on these special sessions. In other words, once they cross the door, all the participants should be viewed as individuals who are here to share ideas, not persons that have specific job titles. It doesn’t matter whether someone is a CEO or an ordinary employee, their ideas are equally valuable.
Don’t consider their ideas to be big or small just because they are ordinary employees. If you are able to achieve this, people will be encouraged to share more ideas in the future. Otherwise, you will create an unpleasant atmosphere where people will be afraid to talk which will definitely lead to a poor brainstorming session.
How to conduct brainstorming in a company is one of the most common questions on the Internet at least among those who are looking to improve the level of innovation in their businesses. With the help of these techniques for brainstorming and with other proven methods, business owners should be able to grow their business operations.