8 Techniques for More Effective Brainstorming
As PR professionals, we are often times tasked to come up with new, out-the-box ideas for our clients. But what happens when brainstorm after brainstorm proves to be ineffective?
Not to worry! Here are eight techniques to design a brainstorm that fosters creative ideas according to Fast Company.
- Invite a diverse group of people – Invite people from other teams to your brainstorm; people with different skill sets and experiences to help you see things in a new way.
- Keep the brainstorm to 30 minutes max – Aggressive time constraints help keep people on task and deliver their best ideas as a result.
- Provide context and goals before the meeting – Offer all of the pertinent information at least two business days before the brainstorm so people have a chance to come prepared and with some ideas.
- Say “no” to the bad ideas – While this may go against the norm; many brainstorms go astray because people are too scared to say “no.”
- Lean into silence – In a brainstorm, silences are times when people get their thinking done, either about their own ideas, or how to build on the last idea that came up.
- Be prepared to ditch the meeting – Sometimes, brainstorms can be better performed digitally using Google Docs or Slack. People can then participate in their own time, when they are ready and have ideas to contribute.
- Provide a place for anonymous submissions – If you have a team member who is a bit shy or uncomfortable speaking out, offer a way for them to write out their ideas and submit them instead.
- Be prepared to pursue nothing that came out of the brainstorm – Don’t feel like you have to choose and pursue an idea because you had a brainstorm. Instead, consider if any of the ideas are worth more thought or try a second round of brainstorming.
What do you think about these ideas to help conduct a better brainstorm? Are there other ideas you would suggest?