Brainstorming is a process for generating ideas and solutions.
While there are many different ways to be successful at brainstorming, I was surprised to learn that many organizations, agencies, and people go about it the wrong way. They run sessions that encourage adoption of the first ideas mentioned, or only tap into a small number of people on a team – leaving the others to just follow along. The ending result is not true brainstorming, but an exercise with limited results. The process never lives up to its full potential, because it gets taken over by group-thinking, or people rallying around ideas shared by people who are popular in the office, or ideas they think management will approve of.
I’ve always been someone who loves to create. Whether it is alone, in a small group, or a large forum, I tend to see things around me and wonder if there is a better way.
In my marketing work, I have always looked at how a tactic or type of technology can deliver a better result.
As this year evolved, I started thinking more about how I could go beyond marketing, and use my interest in creating new ideas or new solutions to help businesses, organizations and people achieve better results.
This led me to studying how habits are formed, and how ideas are created.
A few months later, after extensive research, I realized just how powerful and valuable a well-done brainstorming session can be.
And now… A Time To Brainstorm has been born.
Brainstorming works best with total participation
At the core of brainstorming is the notion that each person participating generates their own ideas. Later, through a process that includes anonymous idea sharing and group discussion, ideas are expanded on in a group setting.
The goal of A Time To Brainstorm is to focus on creating the best possible environment for people to generate ideas that can be used to advance their business, agency, or organization, or even their own personal goals.
In each session, my team and I will strive to reduce roadblocks to contributions, stimulate everyone to encourage broad participation, and work to generate a large outflow of divergent thinking – so every stone is upturned, and all ideas are on the table. After all, the craziest sounding ideas are sometimes the best.
What we can do to help your organization or team
Think of what we can do in a simple process:
Preparing a group for a brainstorming session requires a comfortable meeting environment. Sometimes, getting out of the office can be a real positive step. We can work with you to determine how much information and pre-session preparation your needs to have. Individual research or smaller team meetings can help get the juices flowing, but we want to make sure we do not create roadblocks to idea creation. We also will help identify the right people to attend the session (the right balance of diverse perspectives and backgrounds is important). When the brainstorming session is ready to take place, we make sure everyone is warmed-up and ready to get going. And as the session progresses, we assign non-contributors to capture all ideas, and make them constantly visible to everyone.
We will discuss your goals, the personalities on your team, your target customer audience, and competition (if relevant) to help create the best structure for your brainstorming session. However, one of the most important aspects of a brainstorming session is what takes place before the session – the research and individual preparation. We have a system to prevent group-think and anchoring – where one or a few ideas get discussed and no creative expression takes place. Our team will create a detailed plan that provides all the steps your employees / team-members need to follow to ensure total participation, and idea sharing. The structure we create will go a long way to ensuring you get the most value from brainstorming.
A brainstorming or ideation session needs both a guide, as well as managers who are NOT part of the idea creation process to help the discussion be a success. The last thing you want is someone on your team who you need as a contributor to not participate because they had to manage the room, or record results. We not only keep a highly detailed record of all discussion and interaction, but we connect everything together in a final report that can be used by your organization and its leadership to act on all ideas that your team-members come up with.
Lastly, we take all the information we have collected, and create an actionable report that includes all the ideas, as well as recommendations for the next steps.
If this sounds like something that would be of interest to you and/or your organization, let me know at: firstname.lastname@example.org.