So when you have a moment when you cannot think clearly or you are planning or researching, brainstorming is the perfect way to explore everything around that subject.
Taking time out to let thoughts flow freely and randomly will spark ideas and lightbulb moments.
So basically the aim is to explore everything including random associations to solve a problem and find solutions.
There are various different methods including reverse, stop and go, Phillips 66, and brainwriting, but what works for me best is to grab one of my magic whiteboard sheets and all my coloured whiteboard pens.
I find a space in the house and put up the sheet on the wall ( it magically sticks and can be taken down without any marks on the wall !) and then make sure that I have enough room to stand back and walk around whilst I am thinking.
So my top tips are
- Find a place away from where you normally work to brainstorm.
- Gather any colleagues who are central to the problem/task.
- Set a time limit, or several time chunks to work on parts ( e.g. 15 – 20 minutes)
- Use paper, post-its, whiteboard sheets, coloured pens & highlighters.
- Put the central problem, project, or words in the centre of the page in a shape ( e.g. circle)
- Think of all the affected areas and write them around the centre again in a shape with subheadings if needed.
- Collate all the ideas no matter how random.
- Subdivide each topic into another brainstorming mindmap if further brainstorming on that area is needed.
- Once finished review and highlight the mindmap for areas you can control or complete, areas that you are aware of but need to be done by someone else, and areas that are not relevant or could be ignored for this task.
- Take areas that you need to address and write them down in a planned priority list. Today, tomorrow, next week, next month, etc. Chunking the tasks creates bridges into the next and makes the whole process seem effortless.
- Do a SWOT analysis, to address strengths weaknesses opportunities, and threats.
- Share ideas and let people discuss their points of view and contributions.
- Record the session over Zoom/Teams/Google Meets and use software such as Miro, Trello, Lucid Spark, Zoom Whiteboard, Google Workspace, Teams, and OneNote to help facilitate the sessions, and share and record findings.
- Experiment with various techniques of brainstorming to find the one that suits you best.
- Maybe review the brainstorm once again a few days later and or sit down with a colleague and get their input and ideas.
- If this is a new product or service you may want to do some research with potential customers asking what they need and want and then the feedback can be fed into your brainstorm to further refine it.
- The more you do this the easier and quicker it becomes and it will become a natural way of allowing thoughts and ideas to flow.
- Remember to create an open-minded and creative environment for effective and efficient brainstorms
Brainstorming allows people to think more freely, without fear of judgment. It allows everyone’s ideas to be pooled and considered.
Brainstorming encourages open and ongoing collaboration to solve problems and generate innovative ideas.
Brainstorming helps teams generate a large number of ideas quickly, which can be refined and merged to create the ideal solution.
According to MindManager Brainstorming is often touted as a great technique that business professionals can use to generate new and unique ideas.
It’s a term that’s thrown around quite a bit and is often used interchangeably with other problem-solving and idea-generation techniques.
For me working on my own, allows me to think freely without interruption, and being a visual person brings a project to life.
Give it a try and I would love to hear how you get on and any hints and tips you have.