Are you looking for a way to hold more efficient brainstorms? Then you’re not alone. A lot of managers are frustrated with their brainstorm sessions since most sessions are chaotic and time-consuming. Fortunately, there is a simple trick you can use to improve the quality of your creative sessions. Give participants a bit of ‘homework’ beforehand.
Handing out homework prior to a brainstorm session is a smart way to save valuable time. Diving deeper into the subject will allow individual participants to get a better understanding of the challenge. By giving participants a small task, you ensure that they enter the brainstorm session prepared, which will improve the quality of the generated ideas.
Another great benefit: homework gets everybody on the same page. Since all participants have read about the subject and are familiar with the challenge, you can immediately have an in-depth discussion about what approach would suit the situation best.
Thinking upfront about a challenge gives you some valuable tinkering time, time that your subconscious mind will use to come up with some truly remarkable ideas. Besides, this incubation time helps you to wrap your head around the challenge and allows you to sharpen your own existing ideas.
By asking participants to do some research on the challenge and share their insights, you can enrich the discussion with substantive information. Of course, this also eliminates the problem of people grabbing their tablet or smartphone to do some research on the spot. Needless to say, this is a great win since the latter stops the flow of ideas.
What kind of homework you use, depends on your challenge. In any case, keep in mind that it should be simple to carry out and that it shouldn’t take too much time. You could give participants a small task (e.g. do some research on how other companies outside our market attract new customers ), you could give them a short brief (e.g. a single A4 page with the most important information about the challenge; background information, pros and cons of existing solutions, threats, opportunities etc.) or you could simply ask participants to think about the challenge upfront.
Now let’s hold some productive brainstorms sessions!
Would you like more help to get the most out of your brainstorm sessions?
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