Brainstorming is a creative process intended for creating new stuff, the problem begins when the energy of participants is not synced, negative and leads to low results and total waste of time. I’m going to talk about few rules that will change the way you do brainstorming.
I’m sure you can relate to the situation when you are asked to join a group that is brainstorming on a new feature or something that users asked for. The team members will react in different ways, someone won’t stop talking and pretend to listen to the rest of the teammates and there will be this one guy that doesn’t speak but agrees with everyone every 5 minutes and off course the ones that connect to their mobile. So instead of a group of six you’re getting 2-3 people that are saying random things and are sure that they are inventing the next Facebook.
A true sense of creation can come only from a solid group that trust and empowers each other.
One of the most important points if not the most critical is the energy in the room, energy of creation. A true sense of creation can come only from a solid group that trust and empowers each other. Most of the groups that I was part of were totally different. People from the same group were arguing with each other trying to make a point, some don’t trust themselves and what they have to offer to the team and are afraid that people will think they are stupid. Such meetings have proved to be a total waste of time and a complete failure.
There are two types of criticism, positive and negative. The positive will empower you and make you trust yourself and your ideas, this criticism will make a change. The negative one will shut you down and stabilised an existing idea (good or bad) this kind of criticism will prevent change on behalf of feasibility so it doesn’t have a place in the brainstorming process.
This February I had a rare chance to be involved in a five day session with Nicole Lazzaro, the process was managed in a perfect manner, the method was amazing, great energies and the outcome was surprising. On the first day of the session Nichole explained the “rules”, rules that changed the way I think and made me understand how to create ideas with a group. The meaning behind those rules are very clear, follow them and win the game, don’t follow them and you’re wasting everyone’s time.
Nicole led the session, she answered the right questions in a specific order, she had a roadmap!
We talked about the service we’re going to improve, market needs, trends, what are the limitations (you can be creative when trying to find new limitations). She knew exactly how to empower each one, she controlled the energies of the session.
So what are these rules??
Quantity over quality - this is the short way to get to a wide variety of different ideas, interesting and new without asking if it’s good enough.
2. Be Wacky
Most silly and weird ideas are most welcome.
3. Suspend Judgment
Even if you think you just heard the most stupid idea ever, listen. Don’t be so sure that your point of view is the only thing that matters. Give credit to your teammates, those are the ones you’ll invent great stuff with.
4. Build on others Ideas
Building on others’ ideas will bring the group to create cool new exciting things, things that you can’t to do all by yourself. It will make the connection stronger, people will learn to trust one another. The idea is not to dismiss but to take something and change it, add to it something, even weirder.
5. Sketch it
Don’t just talk, take paper and pencil, sketch what you have on your mind really quick, show it to others and let them sketch on it, take it back and sketch a little more. Explain your idea with your drawing and I guarantee it will be a lot easier for you to explain and for the team to understand and to be inspired by you.
Don’t let anyone bring negative energies to the session, if someone insists not to follow the rules talk with him but if he remains obstinate it’s better to do it without him. Negative energy lowers motivation.
If you used these rules let me know how they worked for you.