As a new year begins, many businesses will use this time to reflect, realign, recalibrate and look for new opportunities and a new year brainstorming session can be the perfect catalyst
Marketing Stockport has been part of many creative and ideas brainstorms and we are always amazed at the ideas and hidden gems that often come from staff who don’t usually have the chance to voice them.
So how can you make sure that you get the most out of a brainstorm?
Open brainstorming sessions are one way to generate new ideas for your business, but they aren’t always done in ways that foster genuine creativity. So how can you make sure that you get the most out of a brainstorm?
Our workshop walls are filled with the obvious ideas and the more random ones; sometimes it’s the random ones that have legs and are those we explore. No ideas are silly ideas. In fact, silly ideas can be crafted, refined and given a fresh perspective. It may not be right for now but one for the future.
Don’t let the boss lead – Not having the boss steer or run a group brainstorming exercise is another way to get all the ideas down on the table.
There is a difference between facilitating a meeting and managing the outputs. While a senior person might be the obvious choice to chair the discussions, staff may naturally focus on the boss’ ideas and not feel they can share their own competing visions – brainstorming sessions done badly can often end up with teams simply giving the thumbs up to a manager’s idea, even bad ones.
The venue: Just like ensuring the people involved create an open atmosphere, a relaxed setting can boost the success of a brainstorming session.
A bowl of sweets, bacon sandwiches or endless coffee can help stimulate ideas. But also try and find a venue that’s a bit ‘left field’ or different to people’s typical working environment. Take the team out to a venue out of the office, or rather than sitting round a conference room table, break out into smaller groups or set up in a more relaxed space in the office.
Your team come with lots of their own insights, both from their experience at the coal face with customers and their personal lives, that can inform a business strategy. Brainstorming, when done right, is one way you can harness that resource.
Before January turns to February and February turns to March – schedule a business development brainstorm – you’ll be amazed at what comes out.
Finally, capture all ideas and agree a plan of action!
Happy new year brainstorming sessions.
Image is taken in stock photo style, and is available for use under creative commons with attribution of One Click Group – oneclickgroupuk.com/