Brainstorming can either be a creative gold mine or a time wasting disaster.
Creative brainstorming as is often discussed in relation to art and business environments, is an essential process of whipping up powerful storm of ideas for a clearly defined objective.
Here are 9 tips for effective creative brainstorming to drastically increase productivity and quality your results.
- AVOID THE BOX.
Many management consultants suggest scheduling regular brainstorming sessions so that you can “think outside the box” or do some “blue-sky thinking.” Being creative shouldn’t be confined to specific times in your day. You should try to be innovative in every aspect of your work, every day. Brainstorming is great for when you get stuck and can’t find a solution, or are in search of fresh ideas and concepts.
- CHOOSE A CREATIVE ENVIRONMENT.
Best ideas often pop in when you are on the move – either traveling or exercising or just walking. When you run into a problem or get uncomfortable with the norm and decide to brainstorming, get out of that stuffy, cramped office, which isn’t going to be conducive to creative thinking.
Enjoy a change of scenery for at least half an hour before you start working, and remember to take breaks. Diversions like playing a game, exercising or listening to music might help you relax and then go back to work refreshed.
- DEFINE THE PROBLEM, NOT THE SOLUTION.
Before brainstorming, have the problem/ objective clearly defined so that there should be a practical purpose for the exercise, or else you may end up going nowhere. When you stray, remind yourself about the problem you’re trying to solve, and keep working toward that objective.
- KEEP THE IDEAS FRESH.
Rather than surrounding yourself with the same thoughts, talk to friends and colleagues. You just might find that someone elsewhere in your field have great ideas.
- DON’T JUDGE.
Avoid judging unrealistic ideas. Shoot for quantity over quality. Rather than taking time to think about excuses and reasons why a particular idea is good or bad, just take every idea and move along as the best ideas are born from the very worst. Besides time isn’t the only factor in play here, more importantly is the mood.
- WRITE IT ALL DOWN.
Any ideas that may come up during your session should be recorded. Those great suggestions aren’t going to be any help to you if you forget them. Use a notebooks flash cards and sticky notes so you can write down every useful idea you come across, no matter what the context, and then follow up later.
- MAKE THE BEST IDEAS A REALITY.
Remember to say yes to potentially good ideas that come out of brainstorming sessions. Mistakes might occur occasionally, but if you take a risk, you’re more likely to find success. No one wants their time going to waste, so create action items to move forward with. Before your group disperses, plan out how you’re all going to follow up.