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10 Tips For a Successful Group Brainstorm

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A good ideation session is what creative types live for, but without guidelines, brainstorms can devolve into unproductive time-sucks. Follow these tips to make the most of your next brainstorm session.

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10 Tips For a Successful Group Brainstorm

  1. fora
  2. Clearly define the meeting objectives. The brainstorm organizer should send relevant information to the team at least 24 hours in advance and encourage individual brainstorming beforehand (30-60 minutes), so that everyone comes with some ideas. 1 SET EXPECTATIONS
  3. 2 ASSEMBLE THE RIGHT TEAM Size the team according to needs, but keep it under seven people. (Experts have found that having too many people makes brainstorms ineffective.) Assemble a diverse group, including representatives from various backgrounds and disciplines.
  4. 3 CHANGE YOUR ENVIRONMENT Pick an environment that allows people to think and be creative without distraction. Take advantage of more inspiring settings if the office isn’t quite cutting it.
  5. 4 UNPLUG Don’t allow phones and computers during group brainstorms. Relax, Instagram will still be there after.
  6. 5 DOCUMENT EVERY IDEA The organizer should write down every idea—even those that don't seem appealing at first. Try to develop each idea as much as possible before moving on.
  7. 6 HOLD BACK CRITICISM Most ideas are fragile and need time to incubate. Don’t kill them immediately by criticizing. It’s important to build an inclusive environment where good ideas can flourish.
  8. 7 Egos are not conducive to collaboration. Help develop other people’s ideas, too. The best idea is the one that solves the problem—for everyone. DON’T GET ATTACHED TO YOUR OWN IDEAS
  9. 8 COMBINE & IMPROVE IDEAS Hivemind can be a beautiful thing. Look for ways to combine two ideas to form a single great idea—when it makes sense.
  10. 9 STAY FOCUSED It’s easy to stray off topic and splinter into side conversations, but it’s important to keep the group focused on the objectives at hand.
  11. 10 BREAK WHEN IT MAKE SENSE TO Break when you have what you need—or if it is clear that what you need is further clarification, additional ideas, etc. Don’t bang your head against the wall.
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