How to organize an effective brainstorm session
We have all been in a situation in which no matter how much time you spent thinking or search for the solution, you can't seem to figure the way out of a problem. A brainstorm session is a healthy and productive way to regroup your team in a brief discussion and get great new ideas. Brainstorming session does not mean that you get outspoken by some high-ranking officers; there must be a healthy environment where every person can share their ideas separately.
1. Clearify your Brainstorming goal
Start the session with a proper goal and results you want to achieve. Even if you do not get the desired results, a healthy discussion will help you better understand the actual issue. A brainstorming session should not be a place you visit daily. Change the venue. Try to create an informal environment. Set a brainstorming goal. There can be some snacks and high-tea. Gather all the tools and stuff you need before the session, so you don't waste any time. If you think you need to have much better thoughts and ideas, consider taking a walk or some stuff apart from your daily routine, which might help during the brainstorming session.
2. Invite the right participants
If you are planning this session to solve an issue regarding the whole company or some bigger issuers, invite people from every department, they are not bound to think the same way. Each one of them has creative potential and has different ideas as they are specialized in various fields. A diverse group helps you connect more dots and is an important factor in any kind of solution finding discussion. You get broader ideas when you invite various participants.
Encourage everyone to give their information. Always appreciate crazy ideas, let your team think outside the box, sometimes you get a positive aspect of a crazy stupid idea. 3 to 8 people is an ideal number. Overcrowding can cause an ineffective and unpleasant environment, so pick your team wisely.
3. Set the agenda
If there is a problem or some issue that needs to be discussed, gather all the details, ifs, and how's of the problem. Define the issues in detail and set the boundaries for the solutions. You can start with defining these problems that guide your following session for about 20 minutes. Then you and your group can go on with exploring ideas for approximately 30 minutes. After that, the brainstorm session can end with sorting the best ideas, which might take 10 minutes.
4. Use effective brainstorming techniques
Here are some effective brainstorming techniques to keep the focus and concentration of every person present on the issue, guide your team to be innovative, and give better ideas. If the discussion goes out of topic, these techniques can also refocus the team on the issue.
This is a useful technique, especially when you're solving a business problem or discussing a new product's launch. Start with a single idea and try to solve the issue. You can use brainstorming techniques given on edrawmind.com. It allows you to draw easily and discuss the map in a better way. Make new branches of the central idea. Try to expand more until you see a productive and positive way. If you have a bigger group, consider making a map on a larger board, or use a larger sheet, allow everyone to participate and show their potential.
Blind Writing Storming:
You can do this technique with many groups too. Set a time, give everyone a piece of sheet, and tell them to write continuously. After that you can read everyone's idea and try to connect the ideas.
Group Ideating Storming:
If you work alone, you can have a brainstorming session with your friends or family members. Try quoting the issue to them and get their ideas. Sometimes it is healthy and useful to get an opinion from someone who is not from your field of work.
Road Map Storming:
When you are stuck within the solution and half-way through the answer, that is where road map Storming comes into play. You can conduct this alone or with a group. Keep a proper check of all the ideas and connect the dots.
Try to think about the reverse of the issue. You might have heard of reverse engineering. Sometimes considering the opposite of your problem might be helpful to generate new ideas.
5. Hold the Brainstorming session
When you get in a flow or the session gets longer than the expectation, a facilitator with experience can be very helpful to remind the topic and guide the discussion. It is important to make sure every person has the chance to share their ideas. Conclusion and next steps should be explained at the end of the session.
As is mentioned above, keep a limited group with diverse fields and try to think boldly. Set proper ground rules for the session. Keep your team motivated for the goal. Try to think the opposite. Appreciate new ideas and listen to other ideas carefully. You can set rules and write them down somewhere, so everyone knows how to behave and what to discuss in this session. Be bold to filter the ideas and decide which idea needs to be addressed further and which one is not helpful.
Brainstorming is not only for students who want to have better ideas about their research papers. It is also an effective method to get new ideas and improve our business. Once you set the right goals for brainstorming session, you get the ideal results. Gather a motivated team, and do not get off track. Prepare yourself completely. Make sure everyone understands the purpose. Be a proper facilitator and proceed with the positive ideas.