Turn your discussion into an effective brainstorming session
Have you ever caught a coworker zoning out during a meeting? It stings, but don’t take it personally. It may be time to upgrade your approach to create a more effective brainstorming session. Whether you’re coming up with new ideas for a work project, planning a creative trip with friends, or looking to spark some inspiration, a structured brainstorming session can make all the difference. But where the heck do you start?
Before diving in, there are a few ground rules to remember. First things first, check your ego at the door—everyone’s ideas are valuable. Speaking of hearing everyone’s ideas, make sure the floor is open to all, no matter their role or experience level. But here’s a little secret—effective brainstorming doesn’t always have to happen in a group. Prepping independently, summarizing feedback after the fact, or even working asynchronously can be incredibly beneficial.
Now bring on the thunder and lightning because it’s about to brainstorm.
The sticky-note method
Ah, the humble sticky note. Is there anything it can’t do? Well, probably, but one of its most ingenious uses is for brainstorming. With a stack of colorful stickies and a big ol’ blank wall, you can unleash your creativity and capture your brilliant ideas in one place. Plus, the satisfaction of crumpling up and tossing away the ones that don’t make the cut is unbeatable.
The sticky note method is like a party for your brain, with each little note representing a guest bringing their own unique flavor to the shindig. So grab a pen, slap on a sticky, and start the celebration.
Let’s get our brains in gear and start mapping some minds. (We promise we’ll make it make sense.) Mind-mapping is like a choose-your-own-adventure for your thoughts. With one central idea in the middle, you can branch out in any direction and let your ideas take you on a wild ride. The best part is you don’t have to stick to any rules or structures—just see where it takes you. Plus, you get to draw squiggly lines and use fun colors, which is a bonus for your inner child.
Another benefit of Google Workspace is how it allows members of your team and clients to work async in documents, which cuts down on meeting times and improves internal communication in remote or hybrid working environments. Do we love the versatility? Why, yes. Yes, we do.
The round-robin method
Get ready to pass the mic because it’s time for some round-robin brainstorming. Round-robin is the brainstorming potluck—everyone brings their own dish (idea) to share, and together they create a feast of inspiration. It’s like a game of improv, where you have to build off of what the person before you said and keep the momentum going. The best part is, you never know what crazy idea will come flying at you next, which adds some excitement to the process.
Getting to work: The Outmark FAST method
We couldn’t write a blog on having an effective brainstorming session without sharing our go-to work method here at Outmark®. While this isn’t a brainstorming technique, it’s a great practice to help your team implement all those amazing ideas. Our FAST method stands for Focused And Strategic Together. But how do we put those words into action?
Here’s how our team works FAST:
To FOCUS on our clients, our project team leaders are in the zone, spending uninterrupted time planning and setting things up like the bosses they are. And that means the rest of the team can come in hot and move at lightning speed.
Our account leads aren’t just strategic; they’re STRATEGIC (capital letters required). They’re like the superheroes of positioning, developing top-notch strategies, and guiding the team with well-crafted briefs and ongoing guidance.
When we put all of this TOGETHER, we become an unstoppable force. With quality briefing and skillful leadership, our team brings depth, breadth, and a lotta inspiration. We take our client relationships further and faster than anyone thought possible.
Valued people bring up valuable ideas
During company brainstorming sessions, the most valued people are the ones who bring the most valuable ideas to the table. You never know who will steal the show. It could be the CEO with a wild idea that breaks all the rules, or the quiet intern with a fresh perspective. That’s why making sure everyone feels valued and heard is important—you never know where the next big breakthrough will come from.
Where do we go from here?
Drowning in a sea of good ideas after your brainstorming session? One of the best ways to ensure you didn’t waste time throwing fun ideas at the wall is to implement goals, plans, and processes to achieve them. Something we find helpful is to keep all the moving pieces together by laying them out with organizational tools. The rest is up to you, so go forward and get creative.