Key Factors to Successful Brainstorming

Brainstorming sessions help provide organizations with fresh ideas. These ideas can be used to either provide solutions to problems, develop new products as well as improving or enhancing current systems and methods. Brainstorming sessions can also help develop creative thinking in people and can be an effective means of encouraging free thinking.

Brainstorming has proven to be an effective tool in developing innovative ideas that many organizations hold regular brainstorming sessions among their members in order to come up with innovative solutions to many problems quickly. Brainstorming can come in handy in a variety of ways.

In manufacturing, brainstorming can be used to develop new product ideas or improve current product lines. In the advertising sector, brainstorming can be used to help develop creative marketing campaigns for clients. Brainstorming can also be used to find innovative ways to improve or enhance business systems and processes. Brainstorming can also be used in team building as a way to stimulate participants to generate ideas and help promote creative discussion and idea sharing.

Successful brainstorming sessions can come up with the best solutions and ideas. But there are some things that you should follow in order to make sure that your brainstorming sessions end up in success. Success here means that you and your group are able to come up with all the ideas that you need. If you plan to hold your own brainstorming session with a group of colleagues, here are some tips to help you ensure that your next session would be a very productive one.

Put together a group of participants with different backgrounds.

This will ensure that your group will be able to generate a variety of different ideas. Brainstorming success usually depends on the effective use of the combined creativity of the participants. Having a group with varied backgrounds allow you to tap on a wider range of possible ideas.

Participants with similar backgrounds may think alike and come up with the same ideas which can limit the progress of any brainstorming session. A different perspective to the same problem or challenge is what a mixed group can bring into every brainstorming session. Participants become more open to other possibilities and are able to think of more innovative ideas along the way.

Provide a well-stated challenge for the participants to work with.

Every brainstorming session should begin with as clearly defined problem or issue that the participants can focus on when its time to come up with the ideas. The mistake with some brainstorming sessions that go nowhere is that the challenge put before the participants is stated in a very broad sense that it becomes very difficult to come up with more specific ideas.

Having “Exciting New Products” as the challenge to brainstorming participants will likely generate ideas that are too general to the point of being a vague solution. But having a challenge clearly stated such as “How do we make a more affordable car?” will surely make participants come up with specific ideas that are related to the challenge at hand.

Criticism should be banned during the idea generating sessions.

Criticism can put a limit on participant contribution during sessions. Saying things like “What an absurd idea” or “I don’t think that it’s good enough” can discourage a participant from sharing his or her own ideas.

Even if an idea may not look that good to some of the participants, negative comments should be avoided as much as possible. A criticism-free brainstorming session creates an atmosphere where participants would feel free to share even their most unusual ideas knowing that such ideas are being welcomed and no one will mind.

Look for an enthusiastic session moderator.

Every brainstorming session should have a moderator who presides over each brainstorming session. The moderator puts everything in order and makes sure that every idea is noted, everybody is given time to share ideas and keep the session always on track. Every moderator should be able to generate excitement among the participants.

The moderator handles the job of keeping every one in an upbeat mood and make the session interesting. This will help a lot in encouraging the participants in generating more ideas. It is also the duty of the moderator to encourage people to contribute by giving praise even to the most outrageous ideas. Praise and encouragement can help participants feel that outrageous thinking is allowed and makes them able to think more creatively.

Hold your brainstorming sessions on a comfortable and quiet environment.

A noisy and uncomfortable environment can affect the creative flow of each session. Make sure that the sessions are held in a room where the participants can feel comfortable. Also try to minimize disturbances by advising everyone to turn off cellphones and, for the meantime, put behind all other outside matters that may interrupt with the continuity of the proceedings.

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