When a business or company is looking for new ideas, innovation, and inspiration, or is facing a problem to be solved, brainstorming is one of the most excellent methods to be considered.
A brainstorming process is when a group of persons, with different specializations and skills, gathered together to make as many questions as possible. This group is guided by a moderator, who exposes a topic or problem to be addressed. The moderator should try to incorporate as much diversity as possible. When the team is formed among five to eight people, the brainstorming process can get quite engaging, as the results will be more attractive and efficient.
To organize a winning brainstorming session, BLACKBEAR® recommends that you follow the next 5 steps:
1. Define the problem
Knowing the problem can sound easy, but finding the best solution is the real challenge. This step will be the key to aboard the brainstorming session to find multiple and effective solutions.
Once the problem or the main goal is defined, then it has to be presented to the brainstorming team with clear and direct questions including a time-frame, such as “How can we generate new leads?” or “How can we reach new audiences in the following three months?”
2. Layout the context and definitions
Brief the team about the problem with the necessary information. Present them the right context and define the definitions of the keywords. For example, if the problem is: How can we reach new audiences? Then present to your team the background of the previous audiences you reached before. Provide them with the necessary assets, graphics or other elements so that everybody works from the same direction. Let them ask about the questions they have, as this will also be the beginning of the brainstorming session.
3. Choose the right moderator
As mentioned before, the moderator should try to incorporate as much diversity as possible in the team. This person needs to have experience with brainstorming to avoid that someone of the team dominates the discussion. Also, he or she needs to be someone neutral or partial to keep the session on track and don’t change the course of it.
4. Invite the right people
The brainstorming team should be formed by employees who are facing the problem in some way and employees from other areas of the company. Also, if allowed, invite non-employees or third involved parties to generate more discussion.
The best brainstorming team, as mentioned before, will be formed between three to eight people with different practices and expertise (ages, experience, different fields and sectors from the company’s one).
5. Plan the agenda
A good brainstorming session will take around 60 minutes which will be divided into three parts.
The first part consists of “Conflicting”. In business English, conflicting is an ability to reconcile data and different points of view. The moderator will express the problem and will make the necessary questions to explore options and generate new ideas. Opening the discussion will take around 30 minutes.
The second part is “Mediation”. During this phase, all the generated ideas are grouped, analyzed and debated. This part takes around 20 minutes and regularly is faster than the first one.
The third and final part is “Closing”. The moderator will express empathy and gratitude to the team. 10 minutes are enough to close the session and expose the final ideas and approaches that the team made.
During the brainstorming session, the moderator need to have materials, such as paper, pens, color markers, sticky notes and a Flipboard or a whiteboard. All these materials are very important to put them on the table as the members of the session will write down all their ideas. The moderator will read them one at a time to get, if needed, clarifications and input from the members.
If your company is looking for new ideas, innovation, and inspiration, or is facing a problem to be solved, BLACKBEAR® can help you!