Best Practices For Hosting A Brainstorm Session
I am sure most of us at one time or another have been involved in a brainstorming activity. Whether by ourselves or in a group, I don’t think many of us would have made it through school entirely dodging this concept.
Brainstorming is a pivotal step in innovating and while most of us know how to generally brainstorm, this post is going to provide some best practices for hosting a group brainstorm activity.
Step 1: Defining the problem
You need to determine the question the session will be addressing. The question should cause the participants to think of solutions that are clear.
- How can we increase meeting room availability?
- How can we build habits of wellness into our work routine while still getting our work done?
Step 2: Setting the context and definition
This is where you ask the group what do they already about the problem and what they will need to know in order to brainstorm effectively.
- Make a list of everything that we know about the problem.
- Make a list of the unknowns that will help us to better brainstorm avoiding irrelevant suggestions by understanding critical obstacles.
Step 3: Choosing a facilitator
- Select someone who is going to be the facilitator of the meeting.
- The facilitator will provide the participants with the information that is known as well as any new information (unknowns) that have been resolved since the introduction of the brainstorm.
- The facilitator will also be responsible for keeping the participants within the timelines that will be developed into the agenda of the brainstorm.
- Facilitator will be responsible for providing the supplies required for the brainstorm (sticky notes, pens) as well as finding an area.
- Facilitator will need to answer the unknowns surrounding the problem to the best of their ability by using resources at their disposal before the meeting.
Step 4: Setting an agenda (facilitator steps)
- Confirming the topic.
- Setting up the duration of the brainstorm.
- Setting time for Consolidating similar ideas.
- Decide if brainstorming will be done in small teams or one big group.
Step 5: Hosting the brainstorm session
- Facilitator introduces the brainstorm topic.
- Facilitator provides the known and unknown issues pertaining to the problem.
- Facilitator communicates the agenda times for the activities.
- Use sticky notes to write down ideas.
- Place ideas on the wall.
- Group ideas together appearing to be synergetic.The brainstorm exercise is completed when the ideas are finished being placed into synergetic groupings. The final groupings speak towards the solutions that can be explored to resolve the problem statement.
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