Once the issue and expected results are                                                                             clearl...
About Peak Focus, LLC practicing with an issue that is unrelated to your                              People. Performance....
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Solving Problems with Brainstorming


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How do you engage others when problem solving? Knowing how to facilitate a productive brainstorming session puts the power of collaborative thinking in your corner. Plus, it builds a stronger and more united team to meet future challenges head on, too. Learn how to unlock group creativity to start the ideas flowing in this article from the Peak Focus experts.

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Solving Problems with Brainstorming

  1. 1. Once the issue and expected results are clearly described, the participants are given a few minutes to consider the issue. The facilitator then requests that they offer any ideas or suggestions that come to mind without discussion, evaluation or judgment by others. The recorder should write every idea down on a flip chart without changing any words. If they are not sure what is suggested, they must ask for clarification before recording the idea. It is best to create a time limit and keep the process moving, engaging everyone in the group. In order to ensure that everyone contributes, the facilitator can request that each person responds in turn. Participants should be encouraged to develop other people’s ideas; remember, the purpose of this exercise is to come up with new, and innovative solutions. Rules of Engagement Solving Problems with Brainstorming ▲▲ Everyone contributes Throw your wildest idea on the table. ▲▲ There are no stupid ideas ▲▲ Outrageous suggestions areAre you struggling with unresolved problems/issues and finding that desiredthe strategies you’ve attempted don’t meet your expectations? Do ▲▲ No one judges or criticizesyou find at times that your employees or colleagues are not as fully another’s ideaengaged as you are? ▲▲ Record every suggestion withoutFrequently, solutions/strategies are implemented based on limited discussioninput from just a few contributors with similar perspectives; resulting ▲▲ The more ideas the betterin disappointing outcomes. In fact, quite often the solutions result ▲▲ No cell phones/PDA’s allowedin even larger problems. In other words, today’s solutions becometomorrow’s problems. Materials RequiredDesigning “Out of the Box” strategies can be achieved through ▲▲ Flip chartBrainstorming. Brainstorming is a problem solving techniqueemployed in an effort to create a broad range of unique ideas/ ▲▲ Masking tapesolutions to problems or issues. Engaging groups of 5-10 participants, ▲▲ Markers (various colors)tapping into their knowledge and experience, in a structured process, ▲▲ Sticky Notepadscan result in a real collaborative effort.How does it work? Ideas for EngagementSmall groups should be organized, consisting of people with diverse When working with a group that hasbackgrounds, to focus on a specific problem/issue to generate unique/ not experienced brainstorming it iscreative solutions. Each group should assign a facilitator and a recorder. recommended that you warm them up by
  2. 2. About Peak Focus, LLC practicing with an issue that is unrelated to your People. Performance. Profitability. mission. This will give them the opportunity to be very creative without pre-judging their own Peak Focus gives you the tools to grow, develop and suggestions. strengthen your team. With a mix of resources that we’ve created ourselves, as well as several powerful tools we’ve You can also warm them up by asking them to write carefully assessed and believe in, we combine our passion as many ideas on one sheet of paper or one idea per and experience to guide companies and individuals sticky-note (provide them with as many sticky notes toward optimized performance. Select your team as they need) and make a contest out of it. This will members with confidence, help your key players develop help to break the “judgment barrier.” their soft skills, and learn how to coach your entire team more effectively by engaging the experts at Peak Focus. Once the actual brainstorming begins, make sure you have plenty of wall space to display all of the flip For more information and access to free resources, please charts sheets. This will keep the ideas flowing as they visit our website at www.peakfocuscoach.com view the ideas that have already been presented. When the ideas stop coming and the group is silent Engage With Us for a few minutes the first phase of brainstorming is complete. Free tools, resources & updates About the Author LIKE us on Facebook Jerry Scher - Founder and Principal at Peak Focus, LLC Check out our blog Jerry is well known as a business builder, c-level executive, conference speaker, trainer, facilitator, coach, Follow us on Twitter entrepreneur, and mentor. Regardless of the title, the end result Follow us on LinkedIn is the same–Jerry makes the people around him significantly more successful through his ability to simplify the complex, ask the right questions, and develop appropriate solutions to keep businesses and individuals moving forward. www.peakfocuscoach.com Peak Focus LLC © 2009 -2012 • All rights reserved.Unauthorized duplication in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.