Brainstorming is one of the best ways to create ideas and solve problems, and you can do it alone or in a group. Many people use this method because it provides a free and open environment that motivates everyone to participate; this can lead the group to develop unique, exceptionally, and magnificent ideas. There are multiple brainstorming techniques to help tackle and create new ideas, which can be practiced both in an individual or group
setting. After doing in-depth research on which are the most effective brainstorming techniques, we came up with ten tips, below, we will explain each one.
1. Start with an icebreaker
Before starting the brainstorming, it is crucial to make sure that every participant feels comfortable in the environment. On the contrary, it will be completely silent, and without generating ideas, which goes against the primary purpose. Therefore, perhaps it could begin with a member telling a joke or a story.
2. Don’t limit your ideas
The most valuable ideas are the ones that come from having wild and crazy thoughts; it does not matter how unrealistic they are. The true meaning of brainstorming is to think from a perspective of not worrying about costs, restrictions, and technology.
There is an effective alternative of brainstorming, which is called brainwriting, where every participant writes down five ideas related to the topic of the brainstorm. Later, pass those ideas you just wrote to another colleague. Finally, when every contributor in the meeting read your ideas, discuss them, and decide which ones are the best to pursue. This option is great because it allows every member to participate in the contribution of ideas and is part of the conversation.
4. Stay focused on the topic
It is essential to ensure that all members keep the meeting on target and understand the purpose of the brainstorm. Getting off-topic during the session will make it longer and useless. If you have an idea that is not relevant for the brainstorming but want to mention it, write it down in a piece paper and explain it in the last few minutes.
5. Visual brainstorming
Previous to beginning the meeting, confirm that a member buys post-it notes and stick them in the walls where your conversation will take place. With the notes, it is not only easier to remember the ideas, but you can also write, draw, sketch, and more. Visual brainstorming is an excellent replacement for explaining each idea with words.
6. Quantity over quality
As mentioned before, it does not matter if the ideas you produce are unworkable. Generate as many ideas as you can, try to create at least five. It is essential to be open to all ideas and possibilities.
7. Fast ideation
An effective way of coming up with different ideas is with rapid ideation. Every participant of the meeting writes down as many ideas as possible in a certain amount of time. Subsequently, each idea will be discussed with colleagues.
8. Virtual brainstorming
Nowadays, technology is influential and significant in our lives. Virtual brainstorming means having a brainstorming session over the internet. The advantage of this option is that you can be as creative as you want; for example, you can utilize group calls, chat apps, video conferencing, and much more. Nevertheless, of how you do it, it’s essential having a whiteboard to write down all the ideas.
9. Mind mapping
This technique has the purpose of helping you to visualize and organize your information. Using this tool will benefit you quickly to understand the relationship between the information you come up with. Also, it is a fantastic way to break down an idea and analyze it. Mind mapping includes colors, categories, and drawings.
10. Conclude the brainstorming
The proper way of concluding a brainstorming is to summarize the ideas discussed, decisions, and tasks for every participant to get rid of confusion and misunderstandings. Lastly, give some minutes to the members to ask questions and say comments.