Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Brainstorming needs Structure to be Successful

To be successful in brainstorming session you need to structure the sessions. Often people think that in order for people to be creative, you need a clean piece of paper. No matter what creative activity you are doing, people need some structure. A totally clean piece of paper can bring fear to the group, a pressure to come up with that world shattering idea.

Unstructured thinking is rarely successful, so there is a fine balance of providing some structure without stifling ideas.

To be successful
  1. Send a clear memo outlining the purpose of the session with a clear sentence which outlines the issue, problem or opportunity. This gives people some time to think and prepare for the meeting.
  2. At the start of the meeting, read out the sentence. Set out any limitations that are givens, or areas that must be covered.
  3. Within those limits, then make everything else available for discussion - write every idea down....don't allow any judgement on an idea, not at this point. Bring
  4. Keep checking that you are staying on track to the initial problem or opportunity.
  5. Once all ideas have been captured, stop the session.
  6. Then set a new session for looking rationally at all the ideas.

Structure brings a sense of purpose, and also separates the creative from the logical thinking.

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