Brainstorming sessions are great for creativity, but they can depend on the gregariousness of the group you’ve put together. If some are more retiring than others, here are a few techniques to bring out everyone’s creativity.
- Especially in hybrid work and the asynchronous workplace across time zones, getting everyone on the same page at a meeting can be difficult.
- Proper timing, interactive exercises, friendly debates, and both active and passive comments can help teams be more creative.
- Don’t forget to ask your team what else they can use to be more thoughtful and creative.
Time the Meeting Right
Every group has a period of peak engagement. For many, it’s around the mid-morning mark. Whenever it is, timing your session for when everyone has maximum energy will help them be their best and share more of what they’re thinking. For hybrid meetings and meetings across time zones, ask the team when a good time is where they don’t have deadlines or other issues. This will limit distractions and urgent calls.
Make Everyone the Emcee
We’re used to meetings called by individuals who then have the responsibility of leading those meetings. Yet brainstorming doesn’t usually work like that. Consider the meetings you’ve been in where you don’t know the other participants well or you were a guest. How likely were you to speak up?
Structure brainstorming so everyone can present or contribute in some way. They can follow up on ideas, present research they’ve done, or explore other tasks. Ensure every idea gets some feedback from everyone so their perspectives inform it going forward.
Encourage Both Pro and Con Discussion
Whenever we have ideas, we tend to view them in positive lights, yet encouraging honest feedback early can refine good ideas and help rule out unworkable ones.
Develop ways in these sessions for someone to take the “pro” side of an idea and another to take the “con” side. Encourage people to chime in on both, to set a tone of problem-solving. If somebody brings up a “con,” they should suggest possible solutions. Professional feedback helps to improve ideas and keep a positive tone.
Have Both Passive and Active Ways to Communicate
Especially in hybrid workspaces or among busy people, it can be difficult to get everything they want to say in. While meetings and direct communication are good tools, not everyone can make use of them.
Innovation tools to collect feedback like comments under ideas, digital suggestion boxes, or open office hours when people can “pop in” digitally can help get the most from your team.
Ask the Team
Every group is different and needs different tools to be their most creative. Make sure you’re regularly asking for ideas on how to make brainstorming sessions more creative and how you can better make use of their time.
To learn more about managing ideas and getting the most from brainstorming, request a demo!