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The Rules of Brainstorming

Consider every idea

For a brainstorming session to be considered successful all the participants must be comfortable and leave any apprehension outside so that full participation can be achieved. All voices should be equal in a brainstorming session to allow for full disclosure and consideration should be given to all thoughts and ideas.

This can be challenging to implement but you want to reach that environment where the team members in the session know that due consideration will be given to their concepts and ideas without judgement. Crazy off the wall ideas should be encouraged. After the session is complete the content can be reviewed to decide which ideas have the greatest potential to succeed. Remember on some occasions it is the crazy one that makes the most sense!

Diversity is key

When you are in the process of assembling your team to attend the session you want to choose those that will contribute the most and from different parts of the organisation. In order for your end result to be good you want to encourage innovation and uniqueness. Different people from different backgrounds bring different ideas to the table.

Keep it simple

Brainstorming sessions should not be overburdened with seeking too many solutions in one sitting. If you have multiple issues to resolve, have your brainstorming sessions over multiple sessions to focus on one two areas. This may also afford the possibility to introduce multiple team members to be a part of the sessions – Remember point two.

Quantify the session

While you want to actively encourage participation, diversity, and creativity you also need to have some ground rules so that the process can reach fruition. An easy way to accomplish this is to allow some limits on time, ideas generated.

Record all ideas

Some of the greatest ideas generated in a brainstorming session isn’t always the idea that is discussed most in the session. When review is taking place post session sometimes the greatest ideas are the ones that went under the radar in the session itself. No ideas should be left behind.

Fun generates greater creativity

Foe the session to be successful there must be an openness amongst its participants, and they should enjoy the session. The session must be free from sensor and criticism so make them fun to allow for that easy full participation.

Recognise the efforts

Feedback after the session regarding their work and contributions and what was acted on and why is very relevant. Recognise and thank all participants for their positive contributions.

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