4 Ways To Win Every Brainstorm You Plan
When tasked with a new project, sometimes the best thing to do is get a brainstorm on the calendar to encourage the flow of creative ideas.
Brainstorms are a great way to get new thoughts in the mix, but they can go awry if not planned well. Nothing is worse than staring blankly around a room full of people who are stumped for ideas, so here are some things you can do to emerge victorious with a refreshed perspective and win every brainstorm you plan:
1) Start Small
The point of a brainstorm is to generate ideas, but it won’t be very productive if you get a big group together before having a solid grasp on the topic.
People will be looking to you to lead the discussion, so try to bring existing ideas to the table and explain what you’ve already eliminated. This will paint a clear picture for your attendees, and prompt them to expand on your thoughts.
To get quality ideas, brainstorm by yourself or just with your team before scheduling a big brainstorm. The ideas that come out of your small group will shape the larger discussion and will help you get to a solidified action plan faster.
2) Communicate The Parameters
In brainstorms, no ideas are bad. However, if you’re working within a certain budget or time limit, you’ll want to let attendees know so that they can try to come up with something feasible.
Big ideas can often be brought down to scope with a little thought. If someone suggests something that’s too big, open up the floor for discussion on how to scale it back.
3) Divide & Conquer
Ideally you’d have at least one other person to help you out in running your brainstorm so that you can assign moderator and note-taker roles. If not, ask someone to help you out by writing every idea down (yes, even the crazy ideas) while you moderate.
It’s tough to ask questions, give information and keep everyone on track while also taking diligent notes. If you can focus on your specific responsibility knowing the other items are in the capable hands of your team, you will get through the meeting efficiently without letting anything slip through the cracks.
4) Ask Everyone To Contribute
If you’ve provided enough information, the people invited to your brainstorm should be able to add something to the conversation. Try to get at least one piece of input from everyone in the room so that you can take as many perspectives as possible back to the drawing board.
If you’re invited to a brainstorm and aren’t coming up with any ideas, ask a question. A question can often spark an idea for someone else and keep the conversation going.
Like most things in life, brainstorms are what you make of them. Instead of winging it and scheduling a brainstorm on a whim that might waste your colleagues’ time, do your due diligence before and during the meeting. That way, you’re much more likely to emerge with a higher quantity of quality ideas.
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