Brainstorming is one of those collaborative techniques that leads to overall growth and opens new ways to see certain aspects of any given problem. With brainstorming, teams can come together to collaborate and build on ideas that help find the solution.
Some of the benefits of undergoing a brainstorming session are:
- It improves the team's efforts.
- It helps in identifying the problems from different sets of eyes.
- It leads to a more productive and optimum solution.
In this article, we will provide you with a step-by-step process that you need to follow if you plan to run a successful brainstorming session with your team. By understanding these steps, one can easily master the craft of running different brainstorming sessions with their team members.
How to Run a Brainstorming Session Successfully
In order to run a successful brainstorming session, there are different aspects that you need to consider. We have added a 7-step guide for a brainstorming session, which you can check and adhere to. However, keep in mind that these steps will vary as per your objective, bandwidth, and availability of certain resources.
Step 1Understanding Objective
The first step to running a successful brainstorming session is to ensure that you and the other team members clearly understand the objectives and goals. If there is a miscommunication regarding the end result, it is recommended to sort it out during the initial stage itself.
- Begin by clearly outlining the purpose.
- Ensure that the entire team is clear on the objective.
Step 2Diverse Team is Key
The most crucial part of a successful brainstorming session is a diverse team. If you have included members who think alike, then chances are that you will not have a solid session. Try to include people from different backgrounds, different ideologies, different creative levels, and such. This will ensure that you get multiple opinions on one set of problems.
- Diverse people will bring diverse ideas.
- Diversity leads to a new pool of ideas.
Step 3Right Technique
There are around 14 brainstorming techniques that you can choose. Select an appropriate one based on the session's goal.
- Use mind mapping if you need to find innovative connections.
- Use SCAMPER if planning to find a structured framework for idea generation.
- Use Gap filling technique if you need to add gaps between different sets of ideas.
Step 4Set the Mood
When starting a brainstorming session, try to create a conducive atmosphere for everyone. Such a healthy environment leads to achieving goals at a higher pace.
- A good mood leads to distraction-free space.
- A healthier atmosphere encourages open-mindedness.
Step 5Ideas Flow
Try to identify those participants who usually stay quiet during the sessions. Talk with them and guide the conversation to let the ideas flow freely.
- Encourage everyone to express their thoughts without evaluation.
- Ensure that at the early stage of the brainstorming session, quantity matters more than quality.
Step 6Build Upon Ideas
Always remember that one idea leads to another. Try to encourage your participants not to let go of any idea. Instead, build upon different ideas.
- This will foster more collaboration.
- It often leads to idea refinements at the early stage.
Step 7Vote & Evaluate
After generating a set of ideas, it is time to get votes from all the team members. Once you have shortlisted a handful of the ideas, try to evaluate them on different grounds.
- Discuss the feasibility and impact of these ideas.
- Choose the most promising concept for further development.
While following these steps in general, there are a few tips that you need to keep in mind to ensure a smoother brainstorming session, like:
- Always ensure that there is a facilitator in the meeting whose task is to track and manage time. The facilitator will also ensure that there is no dominance among the group members and that everyone has enough space to share their ideas.
- Try to employ brainstorming tools like EdrawMind to easily visualize, categorize, and evaluate your ideas.
- On-board such team members who are flexible and are prepared to adapt and adjust as per the dynamics of the overall group.
In order to run a successful brainstorming session, one needs to follow several steps. But remember that you need to have a creative approach when following the steps that empower your team to tap into their collective brilliance. Follow these seven steps of brainstorming sessions and adhere to the mentioned tips to harness the full potential of brainstorming sessions. If you want to easily streamline everyone, try using EdrawMind, which offers a diverse range of template and customization options that helps in your brainstorming sessions.
1.What techniques can be used to encourage active participation in a brainstorming session?There are several techniques that encourage active participation in a brainstorming session, like SWAMPER, brainwriting, role-storming, mind mapping, and more.
2.What should be included in a brainstorming session?A successful brainstorming session should include:well-defined goals and objectives, a diverse group of participants, a contributing environment, creative techniques, and an evaluation stage to select the most promising ideas.
3.What is the golden rule of brainstorming?The golden rule of brainstorming is to ensure that no ideas go unheard and that the facilitator withholds criticism during the idea-generation phase.
4.What is not allowed during brainstorming?For a successful brainstorming session, you should avoid criticism, judgment, and dominance.