Effective Brainstorming

Inspiration is Everywhere!

Do you ever have moments of feeling like you just can’t think? Where you feel kind of “stuck” on whatever you’re working on. Whether it be a work project, or a bad case of writers block, everyone has that “stuck” feeling occasionally. So what’s the best way to get unstuck? Finding ideas to refresh and renew your mind is not always the easiest task. Sometimes taking a step away from what you’re working on helps, but that doesn’t always do the trick. What’s a sure-fire way to bring new ideas and creativity to your “stuckness”? BRAINSTORMING! 

Why Brainstorming?

Having a brainstorming session may feel like something out of your 7th grade English class. Your teacher set aside specific time designated for you and your classmates to rack your brain for that essay you had to write or project you had to do. While brainstorming may feel tedious at times, the process can yield some great new ideas. One environment that can always use fresh ideas and creativity is the workplace! Business should be all about innovation and creating new processes and projects to keep work exciting and productive. Asking your team for their input is incredibly helpful. Every teammate thinks and operates differently. Using each team members differences in perspective and thought processes is an invaluable resource to any company. Group brainstorming sessions allow team members to have their thoughts heard, encourages creative thinking and make everyone feel like a part of the team. 

Techniques

There are so many different kinds of brainstorming, it may be hard to choose what technique to use. While we don’t have time to go over all of them, here are three techniques to get your brainstorming sessions started!

Free Writing

Free writing is a great first technique to get your brainstorming going! The goal of free writing is to get all your ideas out of your head, and onto paper or your computer. Seeing your ideas in front of you may help you better organize them. When you’re free writing, a good thing to keep in mind is quantity beats quality in this case! Getting all your ideas out of your head so you can better analyze them is the goal here.

Collaborative Brainstorming

Collaborative Brainstorming is kind of like free writing, but this technique is done with groups. Gather your team together and have everyone write their ideas on a piece of paper or a note card. So that was the brainstorming, the collaborative part comes next. Each team member should pass their papers around and give feedback on each other’s ideas. Continue this process until everyone has seen and added to every team members ideas. This is a good combination of free writing and collaborative writing. Each team member has the opportunity to get their ideas on paper and other team members have the opportunity to respond. This technique can provide an open door to discuss and deliberate the feedback given.

Role-Play Technique

The last technique we’ll mention is the role-play technique. This technique can be a unique, fun way to brainstorm with your team. The role-playing technique allows you to look at ideas or problems from different perspectives. You can use family members, celebrities or other team members, assume their personalities and examine the idea from their point of view. Asking questions like, “What would Nick Jonas think of this idea”, and then have someone talk about that idea from Nick Jonas’s perspective. This is a fun idea to get everyone thinking differently about the idea or problem

Check out more brainstorming techniques here

Have fun!

Brainstorming can seem like a daunting task. That’s why (like with most daunting tasks) you should find ways to make it fun! Pair the brainstorming with a lunch and learn. Food provides the brain fuel and its great to have a designated time to take a break from the day to focus on something creative. Having something like a lunch and learn once a month can encourage your team by having something to look forward to. If lunch and learns aren’t your speed, try getting competitive! Make your brainstorming sessions feel like a game by using Kahoot or other online games. Assign points and come up with rewards to get your team motivated to do their best. Another great way to make brainstorming fun and easy is by setting up a group excel sheet or document where team members can share ideas. This document can be added to anonymously, and the ideas can be talked about during meetings. This provides a safe and secret space for people to share and give feedback on ideas.

Brainstorming ideas and improvements is an important part of keeping businesses fresh and up to date. One of the most invaluable aspects of any business is its employees. Utilizing team members and their unique thought processes is an incredible resource to any team. While brainstorming isn’t always a piece of cake, trying new techniques to activate your creative thinking and though processes will help bring new and exciting ideas to the surface. Get everyone involved, and make brainstorming fun, and soon enough you’ll be overflowing with creativity and new idea potential!

Take a look at this article about developing creative thinking skills!             

Katy Harrington
Katy Harrington