Brainstorming: 10 rules for using it in the company
Brainstorm rules are essential to stimulate creativity and find solutions to complex problems in the right way. There are several techniques of brainstorming, but to do so they are really effective, you need to follow some simple rules of use.
The first rule for an effective brainstorming is certainly to be ready for change and to have an open and flexible mind, but this is not enough to stimulate a constructive discussion and make the brainstorming sessions really effective.
In all companies, small or large, you are faced with moments of communication difficulties or lack of creative ideas, and it is here that usually you decide to sit around a table and start a brainstorming path, following precise implementation rules.
Here are the 10 most important rules to follow to start with a brainstorming course in the company.
1) Define one goal
Having more goals during a brainstorming session is never a good idea. The first rule to follow when embarking on a brainstorming path is to define a unique goal to be achieved. Only in this way can we be sure not to waste energy on useless projects and we will be able to focus on priorities.
2) Avoid large hierarchical differences in the group
If it is true that during the brainstorming sessions it is important to involve the whole company team, it is often not good to have too divergent personalities, especially at the hierarchical level. If the boss is with you in the same room, it will be more difficult to be able to have a flow of free and sincere thoughts and problems may not come to the surface easily. This strongly penalizes the brainstorming session.
3) Stop to judgments, yes to ideas
Another important rule to follow to ensure a successful brainstorming session is to participate with a proactive, proactive and inclusive spirit. Brainstorming means putting a lot of people around each table with their own heads. If you want to make the brainstorming process really effective and achieve the set goal, you never need to judge who is in front of you, nor have preconceptions. While it is important to suggest the ideas that come to mind, even if they may seem useless or misguided.
4) Define a periodic meetings plan
As with all projects, even in order to achieve the objective set by means of a brainstorming path, it is necessary to have a well-defined and organized periodic meeting plan. Establishing a time frame with a maximum time limit to be respected is essential to make the brainstorming session efficient. The constancy and commitment to respecting times and methods of work are the golden rule, the key to success.
5) Choose the right personalities
Having the right personalities at the table is another important rule to follow so as not to waste time chasing unclear or unreachable goals. With the brainstorming, in fact, the ideas produced can be really many and you have to be able to synthesize them and make them useful for business purposes. The professional background of those who take part in the brainstorming path should be as varied as possible, but be careful in choosing only people capable of generating ideas and highlighting problems without causing ill-feeling within the group. A key figure within the group is that of the moderator, who will be able to mediate and coordinate the flow of ideas by bringing the team to focus on the final goal when needed.
6) Create a favorable work environment
An often underestimated brainstorming rule is the choice of the working environment. Being in a bright and healthy place serves to stimulate creativity and good mood, which is an important starting point for increasing the chances of success in achieving the set goal.
7) Small external help
Having tools to support brainstorming work is a rule to be applied not only in this context but in all those contexts in which it is important to keep track of what is being spoken in a precise and organized way. The type of tool to be used is to be chosen according to the type of context: erasable slates and colored post-it stickers are among the most used tools for their ease of use and their multi-functionality.
8) Do not interrupt the flow of ideas
Another brainstorming rule that is often mentioned in the books on the subject is the following: never interrupt the flow of ideas for any reason. The reason is simple, brainstorming works well only if the correct mixing of different ideas in a single flow takes place. But there is always an exception to the rule: if we realize that there is too much disproportion among the ideas proposed by the people of the group, the moderator will have to intervene by interrupting the flow and giving everyone the opportunity to intervene.
9) No device
A brainstorming rule that could give rise to some resistance is the following: no to old and new generation smartphones, computers, tablets and mobile phones. In short, when you enter the work room to start the brainstorming you have to do a little bit as you do when you enter the cinema or theater: turn off the phones and focus on what you are doing at that time.
10) Use a graphical mapping tool
Finally, a brainstorming rule useful for successfully concluding a session and bringing a starting point to work on in subsequent sessions: graphically mapping ideas and concepts emerged through software or if we do not have these tools, with paper and pen the old way.
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