Conducting a Successful Brainstorming Session

The goal of the brainstorming technique is to generate ideas quickly and build on strong ideas from there. The brainstorming tool is very simple and is often used without any particular structure but to conduct a successful brainstorming session, this technique can be conducted by following an organized structure to get the best possible results.


But you might think why do we need a brainstorming method and for what benefits it bring? The answer to your question is that the brainstorming technique reflects many benefits such as follows:

1. You get out of the box ideas

2. Group of people thinks more creatively while simultaneously discussing

3. A group feels more confident in presenting ideas than an individual presenting a single idea

4. You get to build on vague ideas to get to strong ideas with great potential

5. You get to use the expertise and experience from a group of people with different backgrounds or perceptions of the theme at hand

6. It builds involvement of team members in the issue at hand and generates more productivity

7. It helps in team building as well as bringing the team to the same page

8. It builds enthusiasm in a team

9. It helps in expanding the portfolio of alternatives

10. It is useful to solve the tricky, complicated problems


The next question is but when should I use this technique, Are there certain situations where brainstorming benefits to its full potential? Yes, this technique can be used for any situation considering it’s a simple simulation of ideas but it should be particularly used when:

1. You are on a time limit and wants to generate ideas quickly

2. When you want to start a discussion where you can get feedback

3. When you want to engage people into talking about a certain topic

4. When you want the team to understand what approach other members are taking on a certain issue


Now, that we have covered the benefits as well as the necessity for Brainstorming, let’s move on to rules which are important to conduct a successful brainstorming session:


1. Being Visual

Being visual means being tactical and specific. In a team, there might be two types of people. One thinks logically while the other thinks visually. The person who is thinking visually should not just describe the idea but also try to sketch it because this will also incline the logically thinking members to consider a different approach. It is also important to describe your idea in real terms to make it actionable.


2. Deferring Judgement

If you want to ensure a creative thinking process, then criticism must leave the room. It is of high importance to defer any type of judgment in a brainstorming session beforehand so that everyone feels comfortable sharing every idea. This is beneficial to root out fear in team collaboration.


3. Aiming for the Quantity

To keep momentum and trigger creativity you need to keep the energy high. This also means working in a fast-paced mode. You should try to jot down as many ideas as you can in a short amount of time. Quality can be ensured later but at this stage, the team requires quantity so that the process of building on existing ideas could start. Scientist Linus Pauling once said, “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.”


4. Encouraging Wild Ideas

Crazy ideas are the foundations of breakthrough innovation and there are no useless ideas in brainstorming sessions. To ensure a successful session, one must encourage every type of idea and try to spark creativity in the team by showing acceptance of crazy ideas.


5. Building on Existing Ideas

Take inspiration from others. If you remember the rule of “Deferring Judgement” then it will get easier to accept other people’s ideas and build your ideas on them. This not only generates creativity but also refines already existing ideas throughout the process.


6. Staying Focused on the Topic

When looking for out-of-the-box ideas, it becomes easy to move into different directions where the focus shifts from the topic at hand. Thus, it becomes more difficult to keep the team focused. The goal of a brainstorming session should be set firmly to avoid this situation.


7. Taking one Conversation at a Time

To conduct a successful brainstorming session, one should understand that some people speak louder and with more confidence than others. This should not be a reason for the other members to have less time to share. Being respectful when someone else is speaking and giving time to each team member to share their thoughts is an important aspect of a brainstorming session.


Would you like to learn about other design thinking tools such as scamper? If yes then visit our other blog: https://www.thefirstloop.com/post/scamper-as-a-design-thinking-tool


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