Good ideas rarely happen by random chance. More often than not, they are the product of careful planning and diligent follow through. A successful brainstorming session is no different. When it’s time to generate new ideas, a little preparation goes a long way.
Start your meeting preparation with these simple questions:
- Can I explain the point of my meeting in one short sentence? If not, you may be trying to cram in too much thinking. Don’t overburden your brains or put yourself in an unnecessary time crunch. Think about splitting the work into multiple brainstorming sessions.
- Am I allowing enough time to give people a break? Creative thinking is hard work. If you’re asking your participants to generate new ideas, be sure to plan enough breaks. Even the best thinkers need to use the bathroom and check their phone messages.
- Have I invited the same people to multiple brainstorming sessions? When you plan a brainstorm, don’t always rely on the same brains for ideas. Shake things up and your participants are more likely to generate new ideas.
- Did I invite the right people to generate ideas? Picking the right people is essential. Innovation is born from diverse experiences. Try to include a diverse selection of personality types, skill sets and work experiences to create a well-rounded brainstorming session.
- Is this a brainstorming session or a trip to a toy store? When people plan a brainstorm, the first thing they often do is get sidetracked by the need to establish a “creative environment.” To put it simply, toys are overrated as a tool to generate new ideas. More often than not, they end up distracting people instead of focusing them. A good plan generates more innovative ideas than something to play with.
Next, get tips on Creating An Environment that’s conducive to creative thinking and innovation.