Today’s most innovative and creative companies like Google, Pixar, Amazon and Procter & Gamble rely on brainstorming religiously. Likewise, leaders at top design and innovation firms cannot go without brainstorming for ideas.
Elite executives profess that brainstorming is at the heart of everything they do. Yet, some publications like The New Yorker, The Guardian, Harvard Business Review and The New York Times argued that brainstorming is just a waste of time. They say that it’s a useless groupthink and there’s just too many cooks.
So, how do we figure out if brainstorming for ideas really work for us?
At Change Enablement, we witnessed how brainstorming works. Both in our daily work and different change management workshop settings. Yes, we know it is so easy to sabotage fresh ideas and go off-tangent.
But there are ways to make the most of your brainstorming sessions, from assembling the right group to having the right mindset.
Have some ice breakers
Brainstorming is one of the main methods of a design thinking process. When generating ideas, you need to pump the group’s creative juices to ensure that everyone’s on their best element. One way that you can do that is through ice breakers.
It creates the right atmosphere, making everyone comfortable enough to challenge and contribute as well. In this blog, you can find ice breakers that illustrate well enough how change can be disruptive, as well as the link between change and fatigue. Interestingly, through one of the ice breakers, you will gain insights like how people associate change with loss.
Tools of the Trade
To brainstorm like a pro, of course you would need a tool set. Even if you are working with remote teams, brainstorming for ideas shouldn’t be an issue. There’s a wide range of digital tools that you can use for virtual brainstorming.
Identifying the best tool for your team and matching it with your needs can improve every member’s experience. You can choose basic to advanced features, but if funding allows, look for the one with the most seamless experience. Choose the one with the most semblance of affinity that you normally get from face-to-face setting.
Online whiteboards and collaboration platforms are essential to virtual brainstorming because it also allows a lot of cool digital integrations. You can organise your ideas effectively this way, improving your group activities further.
If you need help choosing the right tools, here are some best picks.
Brainstorming for ideas requires meta experience because you need to step outside of yourself and embrace childlike wonder. It asks you to try a different character and think from a different point of view.
Whether brainstorming is part of your regular routine or not, it helps to know a tool or two. Who knows, you may be asked to lead a brainstorming group one day. Or, you can also initiate and invite your team to try one session soon. Wherever you’re at, knowing how to generate and organise ideas in a group setting can help you in your career.