How to Brainstorm Effectively
Have you got any problems. You get a group of smart, creative people together and say, ” Let’s brainstorm . “ Together, you go through a bunch of ideas, cleaning and honing them until you come to one: a solution.
Well, if this is how you do it, you have another problem: you are brainstorming wrong.
Using brainstorming to focus and refine ideas is convergent – you use your collective creative power to find the right answer. Instead, try a versatile brainstorming session that aims to come up with as many different ideas as possible, deviating from what seem like good ideas, in order to explore the distant boundaries of what might work.
Here are some tips from Quartz on how to set the stage for multidirectional brainstorming:
Expand your circle. Invite people outside of the team you’re used to working with and outside of the team who are used to thinking about the issue to brainstorm.
Diversify the group. You need as many points of view as possible, so look for diversity in age, background, gender, experience, and personality.
Please clarify the problem. Make sure everyone understands the problem. Also, look at it from every possible angle – challenge your assumptions about its causes and consequences.
Prioritize quantity over quality. “No bad ideas” is the mantra for brainstorming, but without changing the quality, you may be left without a goal to work on. This is where quantity comes in. Generate as many ideas as possible – later on you will worry about what is good.
Don’t try to agree. As soon as one good idea comes to mind, you may feel anxious or relieved. Save this. And keep the idea – you won’t lose it – and keep generating new ideas. If you come to consensus too early, you might miss out on some truly bizarre and innovative ideas that you would have come up with after spending a little more time.
Embrace playfulness. In fact, you strive for creativity, and do you know who is strong in unrestrained creativity? Children. To the extent that you can weaken your notorious professional connection, do so. Go back to that strange free brain you had as a child. This is where the crazy – and great – ideas come in.
We brainstormed the wrong way | Quartz