Do you recognize this? You walk into a difficult situation in a project or in a sales process and mention “let’s brainstorm, who has a good idea?”. And after the first reactions you often hear (or say) “nice thought, but …”
It’s a pity because there could have been achieved so much more if you had taken into account a few simple things.
Do we really want a different look at that awkward situation, another location might help. Thinking about the composition of the group and the program is useful and also about the materials to be used. When we then have figured out who is the facilitator who the problem owner and who is the secretary, we set off.
Brainstorming has a number of phases. Important is the problem definition. Our brain is quite willing to endeavor extra, but only when we really have something perceived as a problem. When we skip this stage, we are ‘brainstorming’ because we want to help our colleagues, but not because we really want to find a solution ourselves . The second phase is idea development. After a first attempt of finding logical solutions, frustration and stepping back we (hopefully) find the ultimate idea. In the third phase (idea evaluation) we work out the idea and it’s again ‘just’ a (little) project with a project plan and other stuff.
My stupid idea can bring someone else to a phenomenal solution. But I only come with that stupid idea when I know I’m not held accountable afterwards. The introducer of this phenomenal idea can therefore not be the owner, because without my stupid involvement he probably never had that great idea. There are some rules that ensure better brainstorming sessions.
It is convenient to have a number of techniques at the hand to put in at the right time. Besides the classic brainstorming, there are many others.
In our book “Innovation by Creativity” all these themes and techniques are described in an accessible way. It’s an excellent guide to get started. We have reissued the book in July 2016. Both in Dutch and English, and both paper and digital. We are sure that it leads to more creativity and thus innovation, which we increasingly need. The solutions of yesterday no longer fit that well anymore.
If you don’t manage and need help, just let us know. With pleasure we then provide you a workshop or act as (co-) facilitator.