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Want to generate many ideas with a group of people?
Here are 10 steps to do a brainstorm.

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  1. 1. Brainstorm
  2. 2. Step # 1 Define a clear and realistic brainstorming question
  3. 3. Find a brainstorming question for which there’s a real need to find answers and a realistic possibility to change things.
  4. 4. Further inspiration
  5. 5. Step # 2 Find a neutral person to moderate the process
  6. 6. Brainstorm facilitating is a service. It is supposed to be a selfless act that enables others to arrive at their own solutions.
  7. 7. The best facilitators  nurture the conversation in its early stages,  step out of the way as the ideas start to flow,  jump in again when energy starts to disappear.
  8. 8. The client should not be in charge of running the meeting. They must keep their heads in the content and not worry about or unduly influence the process.
  9. 9. Step # 3 Find an inspiring meeting place
  10. 10. Sources
  11. 11. 3 advantages of Internet brainstorming Advantage # 1 On the Internet, people who talk a lot don’t disturb others, because they are not heard. Advantage # 2 On some brainstorming sites, for example, ideas are anonymously communicated. Thereby, less dominant people can easier communicate their ideas. Advantage # 3 On some brainstorming sites, for example, people are not exposed to each others’ ideas in the idea generation phase. That may increase the diversity of ideas.
  12. 12. Try an unusual location, for example a zoo.
  13. 13. Further inspiration
  14. 14. Step # 4 Invite external and internal participants who think differently and care about the brainstorming challenge
  15. 15. Pick people who can answer the question you’re asking.
  16. 16. The broader the mix of participants, the more interesting the ideas are likely to be.
  17. 17.  Skill diversity.  Thinking style diversity.  Experience diversity.  Age diversity.  Nationality diversity.  Gender diversity. Aspects of diversity
  18. 18. What about including external people?
  19. 19. Research shows that bringing together individuals with diverse backgrounds can enhance the flow of ideas, making people more open to new information and finding ways to integrate it into solutions.
  20. 20. Ask participants to independently prepare ideas before the brainstorm. That helps introverted people get the quietness they need to develop good ideas.
  21. 21. Further inspiration
  22. 22. Step # 5 Communicate values of the brainstorm
  23. 23. The power of group brainstorming comes from creating a safe place where people with different ideas can share, blend, and extend their diverse knowledge.
  24. 24. No criticism. No negative judgments. No distractions. Pittampalli, Al: Read this before our next meeting, location 405.
  25. 25. Participants are encouraged to come up with  crazy ideas.  stupid ideas.  wild ideas.
  26. 26. Further inspiration
  27. 27. Step # 6 Define the goal of the brainstorm
  28. 28. Develop as many ideas as possible.
  29. 29. The goal of this brainstorming session is for you to come up with at least X ideas that answer the question.
  30. 30. Step # 7 Develop ideas
  31. 31. Brainstorming should begin with individuals working alone first. Michael J. Gelb: Creativity on demand, page 178.
  32. 32. As ideas, participants can also bring in products / materials / things they find relevant.
  33. 33. During the first 5 to 10 minutes, ask participants to individually write down as many ideas as they can, for example on sticky notes. Thereby, introverts maximize their contribution.
  34. 34.
  35. 35. Divide people up in teams of about 5 people – each led by a facilitator.
  36. 36. Get people standing and active. Studies show that during walks, creative output can increase as much as 60%.
  37. 37.
  38. 38. The moderator encourages participants to build on ideas of each other. Sources
  39. 39. Studies show that the most revolutionary solutions spring from group discussion of ideas hatched in isolation.
  40. 40. After having done some minutes of brainstorming, the moderator could interrupt participants and ask them to do something completely unrelated to brainstorming, for example take a walk around the building. Then, the moderator gives participants some more time in a room to focus on developing more ideas.
  41. 41. Step # 8 Categorize ideas
  42. 42. The moderator categorizes the ideas that have been developed.
  43. 43. Step # 9 Select great ideas
  44. 44. Each person has 5 ticks to spend on selecting 1 or more great ideas.
  45. 45.
  46. 46. 4 criteria to use when selecting great ideas 1. Which ideas are the most valuable for users? 2. Which ideas can be quickly implemented? 3. Which ideas involve the lowest costs? 4. Which ideas are the most inspiring?
  47. 47. Step # 10 Each participant chooses ideas he/she wants to try out
  48. 48. Brainstorming is the start of something. Each participant decides what to do next with one or more ideas.
  49. 49. Further inspiration