I have designed and facilitated literally hundreds of brainstorming, planning and ideation sessions.


I have created a series of Brainstorming Tips that will help you create and run sessions that people will rave about!


Tip No 1: Evaluate as you go.

In this way you can focus more on the high priority ideas.


Tip No 2: Establish the evaluation criterion before you start.

hen you know up front how ideas are to be evaluated.



Tip No 3: Send the challenge out beforehand & ask everyone to come along with their top 3 ideas.

Lots of ideas to start.



Tip No 4: Make sure there is enough food, drinks, the technology works at the venue.



Tip No 5: Select the ideas that you can test in the next 3 months.

Then choose the best 3 from these list.

You can have a big impact quickly.



Tip No 6: Select ideas that are the scariest and spend more time on these.



Tip No 7: Draw a big 3 by 3 matrix on the board say speed and impact; populate the grid as you go with your best ideas.



Tip No 8: Draw a big mind map on the board and have everyone get off their chairs and populate it together.

This will energise the group and it is great fun.



Tip No 9: Ask people to bring along a product they love to use or feel passionate about.

What can you learn, borrow or adapt?



Tip No 10: The same people, looking at the same problem in the same way will equal same result.

What will you change?



Tip No 11: If you have a good idea ask yourself or the group – how do we make this idea 9 times better?



Tip No 12: Bring along some evocative images.

Give one to each person at random and ask them for 3 ideas using this stimulus.



Tip No 13: Bring along an idea from a category or industry outside of yours, what can you borrow, adapt or learn?



Tip No 14: Use an external location if you can.

Represents a break from the usual and escape phones and emails.



Tip No 15: Ban all mobile phones! No ifs or buts.



Tip No 16: Run your sessions first thing in the morning when you are fresh.



Tip No 17: Use Blitz — have each person or couple run a Blitz and then discuss their best ideas with another pairing.



Tip No 18: Go for a walking brainstorming session.

Great exercise, you cannot use powerpoint and stimulus everywhere.



Tip No 19: Divide a bigger group up into 2 smaller ones and have them work on 2 different problem then compare and contrast your ideas.



Tip No 20: Have the youngest people facilitate a session.

This is a great development opportunity.



Tip No 21: Whenever the group feels ‘stuck’ change the pace of the session.

Sprint or accelerate rather than keep jogging.



Tip No 22: Be focused.

Better to say you are looking for ideas that cost X $’s & can test in 3 months rather than being too open-ended.



Tip No 23: Have fun.

The ends are serious but the means should not be.

Great paradox — you get your best results through having fun.



Tip No 24: If you have a few very extroverted people put them all in the same smaller group.

This creates space for others.



Tip No 25: Remember the goal of any session is to solve a problem not to generate ideas just for the sake of being different.




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