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17 brainstorming techniques that really work

Posted by Shivali Anand

January 5, 2022    |     5-minute read (806 words)

Brainstorming is a creative process meant to stimulate ideas and come up with new ways to solve problems. Entrepreneurs routinely have to brainstorm on the fly, often under serious time constraints, in order to achieve goals such as launching a new company concept or strategy for product promotion.

While brainstorming can be used to explore new perspectives and delve into why something went wrong, it’s challenging for entrepreneurs to find the time for it since their days tend to be riddled with interruptions and distractions. Check out these 17 brainstorming tactics to help achieve your objectives faster.

  1. Select the right people
Invite people who are creative and good at developing new ideas. Give some information ahead of time to begin sparking some brainstorming ideas.

  1. Consider an online forum
Team members can collaborate online in an online brainstorming session using cloud-based technology. The advantage is that distant team members can contribute more ideas for the group.

  1. Let ideas flow freely without the fear of judgment
If people criticize one another during a brainstorming session, it can drive others to withhold their opinions. Encourage participants to share any thoughts that come to mind, and allow everyone to speak. Even a wacky concept can inspire a more sensible reaction from someone else, improving the odds of a good outcome.

  1. Prioritize 
Before the brainstorming session, inform participants of its purpose and ask them to do some homework. Share issues that need to be covered, give a full explanation of the situation and schedule the meeting up several days in advance. This gives people more time to contemplate and direct their thoughts in different directions.

  1. Encourage a range of opinions
Invite individuals you think are most likely to provide fresh ideas. Ask employees to examine your processes from many perspectives to identify what can be improved. Collecting many viewpoints on the same subject can foster better solutions.

  1. Plan next steps
Determine subsequent actions for each issue considered during a brainstorming session, and choose team leaders to complete specific tasks. State the problem, present supporting facts, list possible remedies and develop concrete strategies. Decide which ideas are the most efficient and practical to execute after the brainstorming session.

  1. Make the meeting as brief as possible
Short meetings are more productive because participants are forced to develop ideas faster. By setting a time restriction for a brainstorming session, you increase the sense of urgency. This will also help keep people's energy and motivation levels up. Start with the most important questions to keep people engaged, and keep the conversation moving in the correct direction.

  1. Begin by looking after yourself
To come up with the right ideas, read about industry trends and investigate the companies you love for their exceptional customer service or unusual goods. Ask colleagues and family members about problems in their daily lives.

  1. Plan the session
If you structure the session properly, people will know what to expect. Set a time limit and get down to business. Begin with a broad concept, then explore issues and outline the major elements of a potential solution. Then go through each idea in depth.

  1. List constraints
Highlight any limits you have in terms of time, budget or resources for executing promising proposals. Then, instead of seeing things as hurdles, try to view them as chances to innovate a good concept. 

  1. Consider brainstorming in a round-robin format
This approach involves one person presenting one idea until everyone has had an opportunity to speak. Team members can improve one another’s' recommendations.

  1. Conduct a SWOT analysis
A SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) is commonly used for decision-making, but it can also be used for brainstorming. The benefit is it helps you visualize many parts of your business to spark ideas.

  1. Consider the possibility of a starburst
Participants in a starburst brainstorming session ask as many questions on the topic as they can. Then you can rank the queries that require immediate responses. The session focuses on addressing business issues and formulating all the questions that must be answered to derive the best solution.

  1. Form a focus group
A focus group refers to a small assembly of individuals asked to provide input on a new product or idea. It entails thinking about and listing problems from several angles to generate solutions.

  1. Examine the triggering method
The trigger approach refers to holding periodic brainstorming sessions to generate new ideas and assess previous ideas. The team evaluates proposals from their last meeting and votes on the best ones.

  1. Consider brain writing
Brain writing is the process in which individual team members brainstorming, documenting and sharing their thoughts with the rest of the group. Participants may submit notes or send an email with their ideas.

  1. Examine the effectiveness of stop-and-go brainstorming
In this type of session, the group alternates between brainstorming and analyzing ideas to solve problems.

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