The New Rules Of Brainstorming

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a brainstorming session? You know, an open and engaging environment where people can discuss their ideas in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

Traditionally, brainstorming has followed a set of guidelines:

  1. There are no such things as bad ideas.
  2. Don’t belittle other people’s ideas.
  3. Make use of other people’s ideas.
  4. Concentrate on quantity rather than quality.

However, despite its widespread use, brainstorming is ineffective. At best, it facilitates group thinking by simply averaging the range of the group’s creativity. It is uncommon for a traditional brainstorming process to produce genuine innovation, and these beliefs are widely held.

The reason for this may seem counterintuitive, but traditional brainstorming rules are incompatible with the goal of brainstorming. Brainstorming is supposed to help with innovation by allowing ideas to flow freely. Every concept deserves to be explored, but some concepts are doomed from the start. Members of a brainstorming session may also have valuable insight into why a particular concept might not work.

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That isn’t to say that brainstorming should be abandoned; rather, the rules should be tweaked slightly. Here’s how to get the most out of your brainstorming efforts by modifying the rules of traditional brainstorming:

  1. Concentrate on outcomes and impact.
  2. Leaving your ego at the door is a must.
  3. Feel free to raise objections to ideas.
  4. Prepare to defend your point of view.
  5. Always distinguish between a bad idea and a good person.
  6. Concentrate on outcomes and impact.

When a group is trying to solve a problem or seize an opportunity, brainstorming is common. Keep that in mind at all times. Tangents and side-bar conversations can help stimulate non-lateral thinking, but the conversation should always return to how an idea or concept can advance in the short term.

You must check your ego at the door.

If you remember the first rule, remembering the second should be relatively straightforward. Brainstorming is a team sport. It’s not a reality show where you’re the star, and if you’re serious about delivering results and making an impact, you should remove yourself from the equation and focus on how the team can achieve the above goal.

Feel free to raise objections to ideas.

Some great ideas fall flat when put into practice. Others may appear far-fetched, but they produce incredible results. It’s fine to question ideas and push back when a concept seems to be flawed. This does not have to be confrontational (in fact, it should never be), but pushing forward with a concept helps to refine and strengthen it.

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Prepare to defend your point of view.

Ideas are only as good as their execution, and a lack of ownership and commitment is frequently the cause of a concept’s failure. If you have a concept or idea that you want to share and someone challenges you, be prepared to defend your position. What chance does the concept have in your organization if you, as the creator of the concept, can’t be bothered to defend it? It’s preferable to let an orphan idea die in the debate than to waste time and resources before collapsing.

Always distinguish between a bad idea and a good person.

Brainstorming is a creative and innovative method of problem-solving. It should arouse some of your inner passion and creativity. These feelings can be intense at times, particularly when it comes to challenging and defending ideas. It’s critical to keep the idea separate from the person who came up with it in these situations. Just because a concept is bad doesn’t mean the person who came up with it isn’t.

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