Brainstorming is a timeless resource for people to come up with new ideas, perfect existing ones, encourage innovation and find solutions to problems.
The modern world is fast-paced and significantly evolving on a daily basis. It is difficult for firms to keep up with challenges like competition or dwindling returns without a proper brainstorming approach. Creativity is essential to meet clients’ diverse and changing needs and give a business a competitive edge.
Importance of Brainstorming
Brainstorming plays a crucial role in solving problems, not just for business entities but for individuals too. Here are some key befits of proper brainstorming:
1. Fostering Team Spirit
The brainstorming process requires the input of individual team members in a quest to solve a common problem. This is a unifying factor as the team members set aside their differences to come up with ideas that work for the common good of their organization.
2. Encourages Creativity
Preparing for a good brainstorming meeting will require preparations like setting time aside and selecting a venue for the activity. This encourages a free flow of thoughts and opens up employees’ creative side, who are, for the most part, consumed by their work activities.
3. Produces Diverse Ideas
One of the hallmarks for successful brainstorming is the generation of diverse ideas. Different people have different perspectives and thoughts on the same subject. This yields several ideas that are worth consideration.
Factors that Limit the Brainstorming Process
As you plan for a brainstorming session, it is essential to consider some undesirable factors that can make the process unsuccessful and make plans to address them beforehand. Some impediments to good brainstorming include:
1. Participation Problems
Every member’s opinions are valuable to the conversation. However, people have different personalities. A successful brainstorming process will encourage all members to give their opinion. Consider a technique that will allow both the outspoken and introverted members to feel free to air their views.
2. Veering Off-Topic
Many people appreciate an opportunity to have a conversation with others and the excitement can manifest in many side stories that don’t add value to the brainstorming process. Good moderation will keep participants grounded on the topic at hand and save time.
Constant yawns, phone scrolling, window peeping and washroom breaks indicate that your participants are struggling and just persevering. Incorporate activities that will break conversational monotony and keep your participants interested
To pick a method that will yield the desirable outcome, consider the various brainstorming techniques available. Some of these methods are as follows:
1. Group Brainstorming
This is the conventional brainstorming process in which a group of people converges to share ideas and find a solution to the problem. Smaller groups of about six members are considered to be more productive. It is easier to get everyone’s opinion in a small group as even the shy members feel less intimidated.
2. Stepladder Brainstorming
This is a brainstorming process that ensures that all team members contribute to the discussion. The moderator crafts a specific question or role to be done by each team member, ensuring active participation.
3. Character Storming
Here, participants are encouraged to take on a public figure and imagine how they handle a problem. For example, you can ask the team members to assume the role of Jack Ma and how he would handle customer dissatisfaction. This method removes limitations by elevating participants to the level of successful people in society and allowing them to think like moguls and not like ordinary workers.
4. Anonymous Brainstorming
Sometimes people shy away from sharing the ideas, especially if they fear criticism or reprisal for perceived negative comments. Participants are encouraged to write their views on paper and submit them anonymously. This is an excellent method of gathering honest and diverse ideas.
5. Electronic Brainstorming
Digital advancements have been made in many spheres, including the brainstorming process. It is now possible to hold virtual brainstorming sessions online, thanks to modern software. Technological advancements such as the software that runs a CNC Machine are a product of successful brainstorming by innovative tech teams. These machines are capable of performing tasks like manufacturing and farming with high precision.
Tips for Brainstorming
To keep your brainstorming sessions relevant and encourage creativity, consider the following tips:
1. Set Timelines
Having a specified timeline for deliberation will keep the participants focused on the objectives and set the ground for meaningful discussions. A timeline will also help team members to prepare adequately before the meeting and have enough ideas during the meetup.
2. Factor Team Diversity and Quality
Remember that your session’s success will be determined by the members that you select. Ensure that members of the team understand the importance of their participation. They should have an enthusiastic approach and take pride in being part of the process. Unmotivated participants will hamper creativity and dampen the mood.
3. Select a Conducive Setting
A conducive venue or environment for the meeting is important to cut off distractions and allow members to contribute freely. Your team members are likely to grow weary of meeting in the same environment for many sessions. Consider including a different setting, such as a set up in the outdoors, to allow participants to shake off their inhibitions and feel at ease.
4. Avoid Criticism
While criticism can have both desirable and undesirable outcomes, you should avoid it at this level. This is because some participants might feel their ideas are not good enough and keep them shelved. To encourage everyone’s participation, be open to all contributions.
5. Incorporate Visual Aids
Life can be hectic and even though your participants show enthusiasm, they may not be able to concentrate through monotonous sessions. Break up the monotony by incorporating visual aids like diagrams, charts and videos to stimulate their creativity.
6. Note Down Generated Ideas
Your brainstorming session is counterproductive without an outcome. Noting down all ideas will help you pick out the useful ones for your next step in the planning process. You can also record the session for back up purposes.
These tips will keep creativity levels at your firm high and pave the way for innovation. Involving your staff in brainstorming will help them feel appreciated and take more pride in being part of the decision-making process of your organization.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.