Top 8 creative brainstorming techniques
It has been well over a year for most businesses since the whole team have been able to work from the office together. While working from home a major obstacle was being able to collaborate effectively as a team over Zoom or Teams.
As the return is now fully on the horizon, we look at the some ways to get those brainstorming session flowing again.
We all know that the best way to get the most out of our teams is to collaborate and work together to nurture creativity. We want to encourage new and innovative ideas from our employees. But what are the best ways to do this. Below are eight different brainstorming techniques that you can use in the workplace.
1. Mind mapping
Starting off with a simpler idea, mind mapping is probably one of the most common brainstorming techniques out there, already being used by many companies.
Sometimes, the first idea shared with the group isn’t the right idea, but it sparks three better ideas—that’s where mind mapping comes in. In this technique, the group starts with one idea and then draws lines connecting sub-ideas to the first one. Mind mapping is a visual way to approach brainstorms and can be helpful for those who think visually.
This method consists of everyone writing down three ideas that relate to the topic of the brainstorm. Then everyone passes their ideas to the person next to them who will then add to their colleague’s ideas. Everyone’s ideas keep getting passed around until all team members have seen and added to every idea. Once the ideas have made it around the circle, the group discusses them and decides which ideas are best to pursue.
3. Rapid ideation
In rapid ideation, everyone writes down as many ideas as possible in a set amount of time before any ideas are discussed. It is necessary for this technique to keep the sense of urgency by sticking to a time constraint. This then helps to avoid the common scenario when an idea is shot down before it has time to be discussed and developed.
4. Round-robin brainstorming
Similarly to the previous technique, rapid ideation, a round-robin brainstorm requires every member of the team to participate. Everyone must contribute one idea to the brainstorm. The first rule is that the group has to make it around the whole room at least once before anyone can contribute a second idea. This technique encourages full participation and allows all ideas to be contributed prior to any critique or discussion. critique phase of the brainstorm.
5. Brain netting
This technique is ideal at the moment when majority of employees are working from home. All you need is a central location for team members to write down their ideas. After everyone writes down their ideas, it’s important to follow up with the team to decide which ideas to develop. This technique is best used to initially capture ideas, with separate meetings planned for the future to critique, discuss, and execute an idea.
This technique encourages remote employees to participate and puts everyone on the same playing field. You can also keep everyone’s identity anonymous if that helps the team contribute more freely.
6. Step-ladder technique
The step-ladder technique is a great way to make sure the quieter members of the group are heard over some of the more outspoken team members. This technique is best suited to smaller teams.
To use the step-ladder technique, a team leader first introduces the brainstorming topic and then everyone leaves the room except for two people. Those two brainstorm together for a few minutes before a third person comes back into the room. The third person shares some of their ideas, before discussing the ideas that the first two discussed. Individuals return to the room one by one, sharing their ideas before learning about the other ideas that have been discussed. Outside the room, the other members of the team can either continue to brainstorm and write down ideas or go back to individual work, but they should not discuss their ideas with anyone until they are inside the room.
Starbursting is a later-stage brainstorming technique that can be implemented when a group has already selected an idea to develop. In a starburst brainstorming session, your team will start with an idea or challenge at the centre and create a six-point star around it. Each point represents a question: who, what, when, where, why, and how. For example, who is this product targeting? When would be a good time to launch it? What is our motivation for creating this product?
Because it focuses on questions rather than answers, starbursting encourages the group to look at an idea from more than one angle.
8. Change of scenery
Moving your brainstorm outside to a casual lunch place or even just a different part of your office can get new ideas flowing. Physical space plays a big part in how employees work, think, and feel. When a team is constantly brainstorming together in the same room, with the same group of people, the brainstorms may feel repetitive and uninspiring. The change of scenery provided by a brand-new space can help people think differently and encourages new ideas.