When was the last time you held a brainstorming session?
Every business owner should have a good idea of the wealth of talent housed within their organisation. But how many actually utilise that talent outside the normal job description?
Brainstorming is a great way to bring that talent to the fore because the most effective brainstorming sessions are made up not only of the core development team but also of people who may not have any knowledge or experience of the product or service being developed.
Just as it is wise not to include direct team members in a session, it is also important to use an independent facilitator. This chairperson can encourage free ideas without having any political agenda.
The following are some guidelines that will encourage the flow of ideas to flourish.
no-one should pass judgement on other contributors ideas
all members are considered equal whatever their postion within the organisation (leave job titles at the door)
the more way-out the idea the better
members should be encouraged to have fun and thereby break down barriers
don’t try a methodical approach, think laterally
choose an environment that will encourage free thinking
restrict the number taking part in any one group to around 14
you are looking for a long list of ideas whether they appear good or bad
do not pre judge any ideas, add them all to the list
do not let any individual ask leading or intimidating questions
Once you have your long list you can then look at an evaluation and reduction process, this should include a number of the more off-the-wall ideas. This will then form your basis for whittling down further.
David has worked in advertising and marketing services for 30 years both client and agency side. Having worked with local, national and muliti-national clients, he set up DLH Marketing to help small organisations, owner managed businesses and those organisations without in-house marketing.