26 ways to make brainstorming a success

1. Find, train (or hire) a skillful facilitatorBrainstorming success

2. Make sure you’re focusing on the right challenge.

3. Invite people who really care about the topic.

4. Invite people with diverse points of view.

5. Spend time clarifying the “current reality”.

6. Start with a fun icebreaker to help change mindset.

7. Ask participants to establish clear meeting ground rules.

8. Design (or find) a more inspiring meeting space.

9. Establish alignment re: session goals.

10. Find ways to engage the least verbal participants.

11. Establish “deep listening” as a ground rule. Model it.

12. Invite participants to name classic idea killing statements.

13. Elicit the group’s pet ideas in the first 30 minutes.

14. Explain how ambiguity is part of the ideation process.

15. Tell stories, play music, invite humor.

16. Go off site. Put a “meeting in progress” sign on the door.

17. Collect all PDAs/cell phones. Establish “no email” ground rule.

18. Go for a quantity of ideas. Let go of perfectionism.

19. Encourage individuality, risk taking, and wild ideas.

20. Ask people to leave their titles at the door.

21. Start with divergent thinking. End with convergent thinking.

22. Use tools and techniques to spark original thinking.

23. Enroll scribes, use post-its, have an idea capture process.

24. Create time for individuals to reflect on new ideas.

25. Explain that evaluation will happen at the end of the session.

26. Identify and enroll “champions”. Explain the follow up process.


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