Published on September 12, 2019
Updated on January 27, 2020
Read time 7 minutes
15 Techniques of Brainstorming for More Effective Sessions
What are the most successful techniques of brainstorming? Well, there are some rules that make the whole technique of brainstorming process more amazing and meaningful, but it can still be made more productive through the introduction of some new creative ideas that can actually be very inspirational.
Many people who promote techniques of brainstorming in their business activities have more than one technique to keep their creative juices flowing, while also supporting different other styles of thought and expression.
Techniques of brainstorming have a very wide spectrum and can cover almost any new business plan or social issue that needs a whole lot of solutions. Your issue or situation can be quite basic, or it can be quite complex, but our list given below will cover almost anything you throw at it.
You can start with something basic at first to get an idea of how the process works and in time you can go for the more complex methodologies. This will help you generate some amazing ideas which could be really useful.
The most basic version of brainstorming techniques is not complex and although there are some very important techniques that can properly ensure your success in approximately every situation, we will learn how basic techniques of brainstorming actually work as described below:
- First of all, for a productive session, get your whole team together to address or discuss the problem in question. It can also be a challenge or an interesting opportunity if you think that can create a more engaging discussion.
- Ask your team to relax and to come up with random ideas but still being in the problem’s domain. The main issue in any brainstorming session is that many of the ideas get ridiculed and then left unexplored. So always encourage your team to be open and creative with their ideas because this is a safe space.
- Be the judge of their ideas and listen to every single one of them. Once they have all had their say, choose the most appropriate ideas from the lot, related to your problem, and progress the conversation further.
- It’s not healthy to select only one idea from all of them. Choose multiple ideas, so you can combine a bunch of them to get a single strategy that is the most effective or improve some ideas and take them as independent strategies. Your decision.
While this process seems easy in theory, it can be quite difficult to implement when there are multiple suggestions that can be aligned with your problem or situation and you have no idea which side you should pursue. Or the problem can be something entirely different and relate to the technique you use to conduct your brainstorming session.
Here are 15 different techniques of brainstorming you can perform in your brainstorming sessions that can be quite helpful and obtain results.
1. Brain Writing
This technique of brainstorming falls under the category of quite brainstorming that is a confidence booster among the teammates. The ideas are written on index cards anonymously and shared with the rest of the team. The team, in turn, supports or question the ideas. This technique helps the more silent members of the team raise their voice in office matters as they are quite shy to share these ideas in the public.
2. Figure Storming
Figure Storming is an amazing technique that falls on the principle of role-playing as you do in the acting world but in this technique, you impersonate a historical figure like Mother Theresa or Teddy Roosevelt. The impersonation is conducted to answer or discuss the matter at hand according to how that historical figure would have tackled such a scenario. Will that approach be positive or negative for the issue at hand?
This technique helps you to acknowledge a scenario from a different point of view and not just in the traditional brainstorming light.
3. Online Brainstorming
As virtual teams are getting more and more traction in the industry, and many people jumping on the chance to work remotely, online brainstorming has become a major part of any corporation that is giving their employees this flexibility of working from anywhere.
Sure, ideas can be discussed through email, but it can get quite difficult to gather all those ideas and work on them. Techniques of online brainstorming come into its own when the team lead creates a central chat or location that is accessible to all team members, where they can easily bounce ideas off of each other and make important contributions.
4. Rapid Ideation
Sometimes it can be very effective to shorten the time limitations to perform a task because the employee won’t have time to overthink anything and they can get the job done quite quickly while relying heavily on their wits.
With Rapid Ideation, the team lead provides the context of the scenario at hand and the teammates have a specific time to write down as many ideas as they can.
5. Round Robin
In the context of a technique of brainstorming, the round-robin technique works by obtaining an idea from every single one of the teammates and they can’t provide any additional idea or criticism until all of the members have had their say. This technique helps the shy members of the team to come out of their shell and be confident in public with their amazing ideas.
This technique of brainstorming is a rather peculiar one but still amazing. Team members are encouraged to think of as many questions as they can about the topic at hand rather than finding and discussing solutions.
This style of brainstorming helps with pointing out all of the positive and negative aspects of the topic on hand which helps the team to start work with all of the information spread out before them and nothing hidden.
7. Mind Mapping
This technique of brainstorming is a visual approach to enhance the brainstorming process. By using this technique, you are, in essence, drawing a visual representation of all of the ideas, among and between them.
This technique of brainstorming is started by the team lead who writes down the goal or challenge for the other team members. They are asked to come up with different ideas that are related to the core issue. These ideas are then drawn onto a map that connects these ideas with the issue at hand and these relations are then discussed to solve the issue.
8. Stepladder Technique
Start this technique by sharing the topic at hand and giving your team a challenge to come up with interesting ideas about it, and then ask them to leave except two people.
Allow both of them to come up with ideas about the topic and then after a short period of time, allow one person inside to discuss their ideas and not the ideas that have been previously generated. Keep allowing the people that were sent outside, to come inside one by one and share their ideas.
This will help the team members to share their ideas with other colleagues and everyone will have their say.
9. Reverse Brainstorming
The basic technique of brainstorming asks the participants of the activity to solve problems. Reverse brainstorming instead asks the participants to list all of the problems and the ways to cause problems.
When all of the team members have listed all of the ways to cause problems, then you will be properly ready to solve them because you would know what can cause potential issues in any current or future strategy.
10. Gap Filling
The gap-filling technique is used to find out a current course of action by providing past and future actions beforehand. The team leader starts with a statement with where you are right now and then writing another statement which is the end goal. The participants in this activity have to come up with ideas that can help the business reach that goal. Collect all of the ideas and then organize them accordingly, which will help you charter an effective course of action.
11. Drivers Analysis
By using this technique, the team lead can get to the bottom of the issue by finding the possible drivers behind it. The group members are encouraged to come up with possibilities that can be drivers for problems at hand. What is really keeping the clients away from the company? What’s the competition doing differently that is keeping them ahead of us in the market?
Once you uncover the drivers of the issues, you will start to get an idea of how to fix these issues.
12. SWOT Analysis
SWOT Analysis is an incredible procedure that identifies various strengths of your organizations and also new opportunities and possible threats. This Analysis is used to calculate the risk of undertaking any new project or venture.
13. The Five Whys
This technique of brainstorming is quite different from the traditional procedure is the Five Whys technique. In this skill you ask a question to address the issues you’re facing, like “Why is this happening?”. When you get some answers, ask similar questions about those answers and so on and so forth. Continue this process five times and you will have a long list of answers which you can collect and put to good use.
In this technique, the team lead creates a six-cornered star and at the center of the star, writes the issue at hand. In each corner of the star, write one of these words: who, what, where, when, why, and how. Use these words to generate possible questions to solve the issue like Who are our happiest clients? Or What is our major selling points to compete in this market? These questions are used to generate a productive discussion.
15. Collaborative Brainwriting
In this technique, the time constraint is very relaxed, and the team lead writes a problem or concern on a big piece of paper and the team has to input their suggestions in the course of one week. This will help in team-building and also gather valuable suggestions that can benefit the company.
Different techniques of brainstorming are amazing methods to get to the root of a problem or finding more than one solution for a particular problem with the help of the whole team and not just one or two people. It is very helpful in team building and lets the quieter members of the team shine and put their valuable input in the betterment of the team or the company. So, Keep Flexing That Brain and let those ideas flow.
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