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Creative brainstorming is a collaborative way to develop ideas and solve problems within groups or teams – it’s about creativity, productivity, and sharing ideas. For more information on brainstorming, check out Episode 8 from Season 2 of our podcast, Revitalise & Grow, which is all about fostering creativity in-house.
In an ideal situation, you will select a diverse team full of people with different opinions and ideas, which allows for a variety of knowledge and experience to be shared as this provides the best brainstorming results. A range of personalities and perspectives can often help to get the creative juices flowing from one another, collectively supporting fresh new ideas to be developed into a well-rounded concept that provides a solution to your problem.
Generally speaking, brainstorming is an uncomplicated and relatively cost-effective way of gaining a large number of fresh ideas. Brainstorming has several benefits including improving the products or services offered, taking advantage of gaps in the market, and creating new markets. In addition to ideas, group brainstorming can also act as a great team-building exercise and uses your collective team power to solve problems.
The most successful brainstorming teams are those who allow and aide participation. Team brainstorming can improve the working environment, promote more teamwork and develop better employee relations. However, when facilitating a session, it is crucial to use some structure, as poorly structured sessions can end up wasting your time and money.
When running a creative brainstorming session, follow our below tips to help foster a safe and supportive environment which generates outstanding ideas from your team.
Clearly brief the team
Clearly brief the team beforehand to ensure everybody is equipped with the fundamental knowledge they need to know prior to the brainstorming session. In this stage, it is best practise to read around the topic choice, finding suggestions, inspiration, and ideas through relevant sources of information, to bring to the table as talking points and ideas to be developed. You need to allow at least a few full working days to circulate the brief before the session commences, to give everyone’s ideas enough time to marinade and form to bring to the brainstorm!
Give everyone a voice
It is vital, especially in a larger brainstorming group, to give everybody a voice and not let one or two speakers dominate. The more opinions shared and discussed will lead to a more effective result.
Have no negative comments
With a mixture of roles, personalities, and opinions in the group, it is essential that everyone attending is encouraged to be involved positively and co-operate. Negative feedback and comments are never a productive way to react to anybody’s ideas or input. This will discourage the team from involving themselves and bring down the group experience – stay positive! One easy way to do this is to ban the word “but”, instead encourage people to say “and” – this simple change helps to build on each other’s ideas rather than focusing on why something won’t work.
Repeat the brainstorming until the team members do not have any more ideas. Once the creative session is complete, the ideas can be discussed, reviewed, developed, or discarded where necessary.
At ADPR, we often use creative brainstorming at the start of a client project to enable us to build an effective PR plan. And clients will recognise this technique is often used at our on-going meetings as well! Communication is critical to business success and when done well it is one of the most cost-effective ways to build trust and credibility for your company. Good communication will improve all areas of your business – from increasing staff engagement levels and sales, to building awareness in your products and services. But it does require a strategy to be effective. Sign up to our Confident Communication Planning service and we will take care of the rest.