Unstructured thinking is rarely successful, so there is a fine balance of providing some structure without stifling ideas.
To be successful
- 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.
- At the start of the meeting, read out the sentence. Set out any limitations that are givens, or areas that must be covered.
- 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
- Keep checking that you are staying on track to the initial problem or opportunity.
- Once all ideas have been captured, stop the session.
- 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.