posted on February 14, 2012
Hazel Wagner, author of the book, Power Brainstorming: Power Ideas at Lightning Speed offers these tips:
1) Write it down, right away!
We think we will easily remember the great idea we just had but the fact is most of us will forget it if we don’t write it down. Ideas that come to us in the middle of the night (dreams are often a way the brain continues to work on and figure out unresolved problems) need to be jotted down immediately. We are especially prone to forget those gems once we fall back asleep.
2) Fast and furious, timed lightning rounds
Time yourself. Require a number of ideas to be written down in a short amount of time – for example 10 ideas in 3 minutes or 25 ideas in 8 minutes. Forcing yourself to work with the pressure of time keeps that censor in your brain (that wants to begin judging the ideas) from interrupting. Items you might have thought wouldn’t work might turn out to be the essence of a great idea or solution.
3) No judgment comments
Saying someone’s idea is a bad one or won’t work will put the brakes on the brainstorming session. Believe it or not, positive comments can do the same thing. If someone says, “That’s a great idea!” everyone else in the room consciously or subconsciously compares the idea to what they were about to offer and may choose not to mention it.
4) Organize and reorganize after lightning rounds
After any lightning round of fast-paced idea generation organize the ideas into clusters that fit together.
5) Discussion of ideas and clusters
The key word here is discussion …not judgment. You are trying to determine what might work best now for the particular topic you are brainstorming. It’s a good idea to gain agreement from those involved on what idea or cluster of ideas might be the best to focus on. From there you can start to drill down on the specifics of the idea to check for applicability.
If that idea doesn’t work move onto the next. My bet is you’ll find an idea that was generated that ends up to be the solutuion!
Brainstorming is a simple, yet underutilized tool that is always available, doesn't need extra preparation, and if nothing more is available, a pencil and several sheets of paper will do.
Think about your business. What can you brainstorm today?
Author: Dawn Langerock