Posted by Deepshikha Shukla
December 28, 2020 | 5-minute read (912 words)
Brainstorming is a creative way to generate ideas to solve a problem, find opportunities and spark innovation. Whether it involves a new business idea, a plan for promoting a product or a hiring program, entrepreneurs have to brainstorm in a focused way to reach their goals.
You can use brainstorming to address specific needs, encourage critical thinking, explore different viewpoints and find flaws in your current strategies. But doing this may be harder than entrepreneurs think due to the distractions and interruptions inherent to their lives. Check out these 17 strategies and techniques for successful brainstorming to help you reach your goals faster.
Choose the Right People
Choose to invite creative thinkers who can generate fresh ideas to your brainstorming sessions. Offer any pertinent information in advance so they can come prepared with some ideas that will help you reach your brainstorming goals.
Consider an Online Format
With cloud-based document storage and online collaboration tools, team members can discuss ideas in an online brainstorming session. This allows remote team members to also contribute ideas or suggestions that will ultimately lead to a successful plan.
Allow Ideas to Flow Freely Without Criticism
Don’t allow people to criticize each other during brainstorming sessions since this could cause them to hold back from sharing their views. Encourage participants to share any ideas that come to their minds and provide everyone with a chance to talk. Even a crazy idea may spark a practical thought in someone else, thus increasing the chances of a better result.
Clearly Define the Goals Beforehand
Inform your brainstorming session participants about the goals in advance, and ask them to do some homework before the session. Also, share the topics that need to be discussed, provide a detailed description of the problem, and schedule the meeting several days in advance. This lets you provide participants with more time to think and take their thought processes in a unique direction.
Invite Diverse Viewpoints
Hire or invite talented people who can point you in the right direction and offer unique perspectives. Utilize the people in your organization to look at your processes from different viewpoints to determine what can be improved. Having different perspectives on the same issue can provide you with better ideas.
Schedule Next Steps
Establish next steps for each topic discussed during brainstorming and assign team leaders who will make sure things get done. State the problem, provide some supporting facts, list potential solutions to each case, and find actionable plans. After brainstorming ideas, discuss which are the most efficient and realistic to start implementing.
Keep the Session Brief
Short meetings are often more effective and require people to come up with ideas more quickly. Establishing a time limit for a brainstorming session increases the urgency to help you stay focused on your end goal. This will also help you prevent people from losing energy or motivation during the session. Start with essential questions to keep people focused and to ensure the discussion flows on the right track.
Start with Yourself
Read information about business trends and explore businesses you admire for their outstanding customer service, unique products or inspiring journeys to find the right ideas. Survey your friends, co-workers, and family members about their issues in daily life for initial brainstorming.
Structure Your Session
Structuring your brainstorming session helps people know what to expect before it starts. First, set a time frame for the session and then get down to the details. Begin with a general thought, discuss problems, and define the key aspects of a possible solution. Then discuss each idea in detail.
Lay out the Constraints
If you’ve got constraints in terms of time, budget or resources for executing any idea you come up with, highlight them first. Then, try to see those as opportunities for creativity instead of roadblocks so you can create a good idea.
Consider Round Robin Brainstorming
During this type of brainstorming strategy, one participant gives one idea at a time until everyone gets a chance. Since every idea can offer useful stimuli for additional ideas, team members can improve others' suggestions to bring a fresh perspective.
Perform a SWOT Analysis
A SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis is generally used for decision-making, but you can also use it as a great brainstorming tool. It helps you visualize different aspects of your business to create ideas.
During a starbursting brainstorming session, participants ask as many questions as they can about the topic. Then you can prioritize the questions that need the most urgent answers. The session focuses on discussing business problems or opportunities and forming all possible questions that need to be asked to find the best solution.
Gather a Focus Group
A focus group is a problem-solving technique in which a small group of people is targeted to get feedback about the newly launched product or idea. It involves considering and listing problems by looking from different perspectives to spur new solutions.
Check the Trigger Method
The trigger method involves carrying out frequent brainstorming sessions to identify numerous ideas and evaluate previous topics. The team analyzes the ideas from their previous session and then they vote on the best suggestions.
Consider Brain Writing
When individual team members brainstorm their ideas, document them and share them with the group to further push their thinking, it is known as brain writing. During this type of brainstorming technique, participants add notes or send an email with their ideas.
Evaluate Stop-and-Go Brainstorming
During this type of problem-solving technique, a group alternates between brainstorming ideas and evaluating them.