Group brainstorming needs to be managed effectively for it to be worthwhile. You can spend many wasted minutes cooped up in an office trying to inspire thoughts and creativity to come up with nothing in return. Amazing ideas cannot be forced, and many managers force their team into small confined rooms and expect miracles.
There is nothing wrong with brainstorming; it’s just the way you go about it. I have found the most beneficial way to get some dynamic results is by encouraging my teams to work on their own brainstorming ideas for anywhere between one to five days before a meeting is arranged. I like them to come up with ideas without consulting anyone and repeat this session after the meeting to refine ideas.
Give Your Team as Much Time as Possible
It’s difficult to appreciate that creativity can take time, but that’s the way it is. The more you put pressure on your team the less productive they will be. It’s vital you learn management techniques which will not install fear into the employees. Keep things relaxed and always provide the team with plenty of time and notice for upcoming projects when possible. When you receive new information you must share it quickly across the board.
When it comes time to meet together to discuss ideas create a warm and relaxed environment. There is no need to put anyone on the spot. Start with a clean board and write down the goals and aims you are trying to meet. Suggest an idea of your own and then open the board to the rest of the room. Encourage interaction too, if someone has an idea to share let them get up and write it on the board for everyone to see. You should find that others will suggest improvements, will be able to combine an idea with their own or point out the flaws which have been missed. At the end of the first meeting try to agree on a direction based on all of the ideas which worked and ask the team to take them away to mull over some more.
Create Working Prototypes
Prototypes are a must once an idea has been settled on in principle. Prototypes are the only way to really see if an idea can really work. Without prototypes you will never move forward with the ideas, meaning it’s likely a competitor will beat you to it.
Whiteboards are ideal for brainstorming and can be purchased for a low price, visit www.gmav.co.uk for prices and ideas.