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.