You can be sure that all of the mankind’s great ideas went through different concepts and approaches before people considered them original and revolutionary.
This helps to demystify the view that geniuses have creative flashes and, at one and the same time, conceive an idea and apply it.
In fact, the brainstorming process consists of jotting down the most diverse ideas and working them to exhaustion until you get a satisfactory result, in accordance with your goals.
And the same can happen in your work environment, you know?
When investing in different brainstorming methods, for example, you and your team may explore ideas that seem to be inapplicable, but that may surprise you when worked on as a team.
So check out this post on how to apply brainstorming methods that can show a solution that an organization would often never achieve without group brainstorming.
Recap: What is brainstorming?
Between the 1930s and 40s, the advertiser Alex Osborn developed a dynamic that stimulated a group to create, literally, a storm of ideas.
The concept comes down to collecting suggestions and ideas – no judgments about how unusual they may seem – from each member present at the meeting, so that everyone can hone their characteristics here and there until they reach the desired result.
And you can use this brainstorming method for everything, basically, from developing new products to solving problems.
It turns out that, over the decades, organizations have developed new brainstorming methods. And to inspire you, let’s introduce 3 of them, so that you can see which best fits your goals and needs.
1- Post-it method
To relieve the pressure of an environment that can judge the creative ideas of its members, how about dedicating a whiteboard or wall space for the creation of ideas?
So, whenever someone has an idea, they place a post-it in that space which you reserved for this brainstorming method.
It’s also worth determining a time interval for the suggestions.
That way, the key is to get your team together and arm them with post-its and pens. Then clarify the purpose of the brainstorming.
At the end of the set time interval, ask everyone to put their ideas forward, one at a time, by moving their post-it to an area of the wall of “presented ideas,” once the discussion is finished.
The person should briefly explain their idea and everyone goes back to their drafts.
After a further period of time, participants are now asked to comment on the other ideas, or gather several, picking up the corresponding post-its and transporting it to a third area on the wall; ideas that will be refined by the group.
At the end of the discussions, create a new post-it, summarize what your team discussed by connecting several ideas. Then place it in that first initial area on the wall.
With this, the goal is to stimulate everyone with the rain of suggestions and, in the end, to work in shaping a definitive idea.
You can repeat these steps as many times as necessary until there’s a final idea or consensus.
2- The “opposite” brainstorming technique
This popular brainstorming technique allows everyone to visualize the ultimate goal. For example, how to improve your relationship with the consumer – then begin to suggest resolutions for an opposite challenge.
In this case, it would look like this: “how to worsen the relationship with the consumer.”
And, through your team’s suggestions, it’s possible to analyze ideas in reverse, and later, receive creative and unusual solutions.
This is a way to remove the blockage of people’s minds. Because doing the opposite is a form of transgression that makes your brain work more freely.
3- Mental map
Also known as Mindmapping, this brainstorming technique is simple and has a good effect on participants. This is in part because of its ease of use.
For this, you must take the following step-by-step into account:
- Write the problem or challenge you want to solve in up to 3 words and circle them.
- Encourage everyone to relate words to the first circled word. Link them by lines that help connect the common meanings.
- Then do the same with the second word. And continue until the third word has all the words related to it exhausted from your team’s vocabulary.
The idea is to analyze later the words that your team suggested to find differentiated and effective solutions to solve the challenge proposed for your team.
This is because, by analyzing the words separately, your team makes connections between ideas that they didn’t previously perceive.
And being creative is just that: connecting ideas that apparently have no relation to each other.
How to succeed in your brainstorming methods
Of course, in order to be more likely to have a productive meeting, full of good ideas, it’s useful to understand your brainstorming method in-depth to apply it in a structured, organized and assertive way.
But I realize that some people believe that Brainstorming methods in groups don’t work.
For those who share this opinion, group pressure and the fear of being ridiculed end up leading people to only give opinions that don’t cause controversy, avoiding exposure, which goes completely against the idea of any brainstorming method.