Do You Have A Brainstorming Culture?

Colorful sticky notes with creative buzz words are attached to a white board with hands reaching out towards them.

The perfect idea. It exists somewhere, right? Maybe it’ll come to you on your way to work, or perhaps while cooking dinner on a lazy Sunday night. Good ideas must be spontaneous, right? 

Every good executive knows that an idea can be revolutionary for your company. Every business runs on ideas, but also the people who generate them. So how can we best set ourselves up to be an ideas factory? Brainstorms! The power of collaboration is hardly a new concept, and yet, many people fail to take advantage of it. We mentioned in a previous insight the power of innovation, listing brainstorming as a tool to drive both innovation and collaboration.

It would be difficult to find any one best practice for brainstorming, so we outlined a few that have helped our team and countless others: 

  1. Set Aside TIME: Be realistic about your time efficiency among your team, and set a time/frequency that works for you (ex. One hour every two weeks). You should look to set aside a time for both individual brainstorming as well as collaborative brainstorming. After enough time of practicing this, brainstorming can become a cohesive and recurring practice within your business. 
  2. Include ALL Perspectives: Having a diverse team in your brainstorming session allows for the best possible innovation. An accountant could have an excellent idea for your marketing operations, and your CFO might have a better system for HR! Having outside perspectives from other departments could provide a new idea or a solution to a problem. Allow for cross-functionality to occur, and include more leaders in your sessions. 
  3. Build off an Idea by Asking Questions: A question to help build or develop an idea is far different from a targeted question to destroy the idea your employee is looking to architect. Offering up questions out of curiosity or to help develop an idea is what nurtures the brainstorm, as well as the overall creativity of your team.
  4. Set Rules for Your Sessions: Our team at Collaborative Consulting has a few rules in place for our brainstorming sessions, and we hope these work for you too!
    • No idea is a bad idea– Say them out loud! Holding back your ideas is the fastest way to develop “brainstorm blockage.” 
    • Be creative
    • No titles in the room– We are all equal during these sessions. Accept that someone “below you” may have a better idea than you!  
    • Take risks
    • Think big–scope up. 
    • No criticism allowed– No one wants to hear “No, that won’t work” before they’ve even finished their thought. Establish a “Yes, and” mindset. 
    • COLLABORATE– build off of one another’s idea

“The perfect idea.” Perfection is often seen as an end goal, when in reality it is an obstacle. Perfection gets in the way of generating new ideas and growth. While many strive to achieve perfection, our team at Collaborative strives to achieve creativity. The “perfect” way to achieve creativity? Brainstorming!

Recent Posts
A coach in a green t-shirt with "coach" written on the back is facing the girls soccer team he is coaching.A group of employees are gathered around a table, seemingly reading a document and brainstorming.