7 Tips for a successful brainstorming session
Thinking about holding a brainstorming session but not sure where to start? Take a look at some of our tips to help you plan and deliver an effective brainstorming session.
1. Choose the right people
Invite participants from different departments to ensure a diverse mix of people is involved. Blend teams to generate new, fresh ideas and try not to include people who will dominate the conversation
2. Keep the group small
Although it might be tempting to think that the more minds the better, too many people involved can quickly make a brainstorming session go off track.
3. Prep the participants ahead of time
A few days before the session, let everyone know what the goals and expectations for the brainstorm are. That way people can begin to prepare in advance and will be much more focused on the actual brainstorming day.
4. Ask people to come prepared with ideas
Encourage participants to brainstorm on their own ahead of time. If everyone attending has a couple of ideas already, you'll have a better starting point.
5. Appoint a moderator
Assigning a good moderator will help keep the session flow and stay on target. The moderator should be someone who has great leadership skills and who will guide but not influence the participants.
6. Choose your space wisely
Hold your brainstorming session in a room that is private, but inviting. Make sure that it's bright and that the room temperature is neither too hot or cold. Also, provide your participants with water, paper and writing utensils.
7. Don't judge
This should go without saying, but it's important that your participants feel that they can throw out ideas without being ridiculed, even if it's a terrible one. While there is no point wasting time on an idea that isn't suitable, there's no need to be rude either. Simply state that it's not on track and move on to the next suggestion.
8. Keep the brainstorming session short
Knowing that there is a time limit will keep people on task and keep the momentum going. Brainstorming can be draining, so consider ending it somewhere around the 40-minute mark.
9. Write down all ideas submitted
It's important to keep track of everything that's been suggested, whether it's good or bad. The moderator should write down all thoughts and have them visually mapped out for the participants to see. Our SmartSheets® are a great way to easily write down, display and move around brainstorming session ideas.
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