Brainstorming is one of the most popular methods of creative work. Do you know how to make it more efficient? The process of generating and evaluating ideas must follow six inviolable rules. Interested? Keep on reading!
1.Assign a Moderator and Secure the Proper Room
A moderator is a very important person in the process. They present and announce the consecutive stages of the process, and if needed, keep the participants in line, should they stray too far away from the main topic. However they also make sure the room is calm and foster a creative atmosphere. A moderator does not generate ideas, does not judge and they encourage less active participants. They need to know the subject matter very well, so that they can answer any questions asked. They are responsible for the selection of brainstorming session participants, taking into consideration their relations and professional reporting roles.
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2.Number and Competencies of Brainstorming Participants
It is generally agreed that a brainstorming group should be between three to nine people, however if the moderator is competent, it is possible to have effective brainstorming with even twice as many people. It is important for the participants to represent various fields and specializations. Do they have to be persons who collaborate within a project that includes this particular task? Not necessarily. Practitioners argue that if one in five participants learns the subject just prior to the session, they often bring a fresh perspective, as they don’t suffer from the “curse of knowledge.”
– The ideal place for brainstorming needs to isolate participants from their currents tasks and problems. It is also important to switch off or mute any devices that could divert attention from the task at hand. On many occasions I saw brainstorming participants, who kept on exchanging ideas, even as they were leaving for a break. The comfort that our rooms provide for such meetings is exceptionally important. The largest rooms are equipped with beamers, screens, audio systems and LCD monitors, with snacks and drinks delivered on request, as well as catering, if necessary – explains Marta Kamińska from Solutions.Rent.
At the beginning of each brainstorming session, the participant should be introduced to the “Code.” The most important principles are:
- Only one person talks at a time.
- We keep the time and we keep on topic.
- We don’t criticize ideas – every idea is valuable.
- There is no “copyright” – we inspire one another.
- Even the most unconventional ideas are desired.
- We do not repeat ideas, unless we expand on them.
4.Detailed Topic Presentation
It is a moderator’s job to present the topic for the brainstorming in a detailed way. This is the time when questions about the core issue and its context should be asked. It is the first necessary condition for effective work on finding a solution.
5.Free Generation of Ideas
Each idea related to the issue at hand is recorded in a succinct form in a place where it can be seen by everybody. At this stage some divergent ideas may be produced, so the moderator needs to make sure the brainstorming Code is upheld and prolonged arguments don’t take place. The goal of this stage is to generate as many ideas as possible. There will be time for selection later on.
6.Selection and Evaluation of Ideas
Once the idea generation and gathering stage are complete, there comes the time to evaluate them. By comparing ideas, the best and the most promising after implementation are selected. The final set of ideas may be put to a vote. The vote may be held in the project team or a separate group, uninvolved with the proposed solutions. Obviously, not every idea can be implemented. It is vital to describe ideas in detail, as a completely different team can be implementing the selected course.
To sum up: unleashing the design team’s creativity requires, above all, a place where the team can work in comfort, not distracted by anything not directly related to the issue at hand. Sometimes it is a good idea to move brainstorming away from the company office and use the well-equipped conference rooms at serviced offices.
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