December 2nd, 2011

7 Rules to a Perfect Brainstorming Session

We all know that as budding entrepreneurs we have to create new ideas 24/7. We always have to have our thinking caps on and forge new ways to market our products or make people want to use our services. When we are sleeping, our competition is still awake and when we are writing down something new, they are already doing it.

For some reason I think the most while I am traveling, so I definitely needed a good book on hand. I was reading Mark Faust’s “Growth or Bust” while traveling on the plane back to NYC and loved the way he capitalizes on providing his readers on proven turnaround strategies that can be used to strengthen the growth of their businesses. The section called, 7 Rules for a Productive Informative Session, really stuck out to me.

Here he broke down all key essentials that can create the ideal brainstorming session with our team members. I immediately folded the corner of the page to return to so I would be able to share this information with you. I’m going to layout the rules as I interpreted them, but be sure to go to your local library or bookstore to read the book for yourself.

Embrace Change

Change is good! That must be emphasized to your team, as a company grows try not to be in stuck in your ways.

Understand That There Are No Bad Ideas

This is an important rule that should be mentioned prior to every brainstorming session you hold. Accept everyone’s contribution to the team’s ideas and avoid harsh judgments against any idea.

Set Aside Status, Titles and Positions

Ensure that all employees feel equal when holding a brainstorming meeting.

Postpone Discernment

As the facilitator you must postpone any judgment of any ideas that are brought to the table. Avoid participants to have immediate responses when a new idea is discussed until after everything has been proposed.

Kill Idea Killers

Don’t allow Idea Killers to ruin your creative thought process. If you know there is a person that normally bashes ideas, don’t hesitate to call them out. This can take place in private or aloud without actually addressing that specific person.

Require Participation

Be sure to welcome everyone’s input. Often the most quiet person in the room is the one that has the brightest ideas or has a unique perspective.

Say “Yes” and…

Get your team in the habit of not saying “no” or any harsh comments when an idea is proposed. Instead replace it with a “yes and” so that they can further describe their idea or someone else can comment on it.

Should you decide to utilize these tools at your next brainstorming session, I am pretty sure that it will go a whole lot smoother than the way you have done it before.  Rule #2 will definitely eliminate the small debates or bickering that usually prolongs the meeting.

About the Author

DeAndra Harrison
DeAndra` A. Harrison, Editor for Socialtik Mag is a Columbus, OH native, trying to survive in the "concrete jungle of NYC", who is passionate about her entrepreneurial ambitions. She is striving to succeed and she will let everyone know. She believes that helping herself is not enough, so she actively imparts the knowledge she acquires to those around her.



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