5 Steps to Brainstorm Productively

4 years ago admin 0

Brainstorming is the best roadmap for complex problem solving. It usually involves considering multiple ideas and narrowing them down into well-thought out recommendations. For a five-step process to help you facilitate a brainstorming session, keep reading.

  1. State the problem so all will understand it. What is the question to be answered or the problem to be solved? A problem well stated is a problem half solved. Setting out your goals this way helps the meeting stay focused. You must be clear on the problem before you can zero in on the solution.
  2. Brainstorming sessions should be constituted of a varied group of individuals, each one selected from a different department and background. This diversity would help in preventing anyone feeling like the odd one out. It’s important to invite people who may see things from a different perspective – individuals who may be able to come up with ideas you never even considered.
  3. Set a time limit and focus on harvesting ideas. A facilitator will be required to guide the session, encourage participation, and record every contribution. Generating the right ideas should begin with asking the right questions. If you can approach your goals critically and hone in on what you want to achieve, your brainstorming session will be much more effective.
  4. Create a non-critical atmosphere by ensuring the participants do not criticize each other’s ideas. No one, by look or action, may indicate that he or she thinks another’s idea is useless. As shy team members may fear mockery or rejection, it is of importance that positive emotional states are maintained. Everyone must cooperate in a positive, productive, creative spirit from beginning to end.
  5. Once the time is up, narrow down your list using an agreed set of criteria. This would be used to give each idea a score before adding up. The idea with the highest score will most likely be the best solution to the problem being faced. At this point, be sure everyone is in agreement before moving on to follow-up activities.

What advice do you have for organizing effective brainstorming sessions? Leave your thoughts in the comments.