Gathering a full team for a brainstorming session can often end up being a waste of time. Allowing for the free flow of ideas while staying on track can be difficult. We recruited Sergio Marrero, co-founder of ALEX and brainstorming extraordinaire, to help us perfect tactics to make the most of our ideation meetings. Here are a few of the strategies we learned:
Quantity and Speed
Setting a timer and tasking your team to come up with as many ideas as possible is a great way to wisely spend meeting time. The more ideas thrown out, the better — no matter how outlandish. After the specified time period, you are bound to have a few realistic options to build upon.
Don’t shoot down any ideas. Making sure everyone feels comfortable to share what’s on their mind is key. Instead of pointing out why an idea won’t work, make suggestions for how to build on the concept. Often the craziest ideas can be a stroke of inspiration for another person.
Putting constraints on meeting concepts only hinders the team. Start out with a wide viewpoint and slowly cut away at aspects that don’t work later in the process. It’s much harder to be creative when you are only thinking about what can’t be done.