Is brainstorming really necessary? For some creative individuals, coming up with great ideas can be a breeze. But for others, feeling the pressure to formulate any idea at all – especially while on the job – can be somewhat of a challenge. The word “brainstorming” alone implies that it is an uneven, nebulous thought process. Quite the contrary. In fact, good brainstorming requires a strategic method for arriving at a semblance of a well-hatched idea (trust me – writing this blog every week, I should know!).
This is why there are so many training sessions specifically devoted to “how to” brainstorm. How many of us have been tasked at work with coming up with a great idea on the fly – when we’re running low on energy, haven’t had enough coffee, or simply aren’t in the creative frame of mind. Whether you’re right in the middle of a team meeting or alone in your workspace, here are some tips for making sure that the tone is set the tone for capturing those bright ideas during a brainstorming session:
- Audible setting: This is a basic requirement to ensure that all participants can easily hear one another and exchange ideas.
- Background information: The provision of some back-up information is usually necessary to put things into context. If this is provided beforehand, it could allow some participants to already formulate some ideas that they can bring to the brainstorming session.
- Creative warm-up: An ice-breaker is highly suggested to get the creative juices flowing.
- Diverse mix: A mix of participants is recommended to ensure that the ideas or solutions are not homogenous, but rather diversified.
- Environmental setting: The room or area for the brainstorming session should be set up in a way that is comfortable for the participants.
Of course, every brainstorming session requires a facilitator to not only guide and lead the participants throughout the process but to also engage them. By following these basic ABCs of brainstorming, your team will feel at more ease and willing to exchange and/or develop creative ideas that may eventually become powerful solutions for your organization.