Brainstorming is probably the most popular method of generating ideas. This seemingly simple activity is actually super effective and finds its place in most, if not all, problem-solving schemes.
There is a whole science behind why brainstorming is so effective. Its widespread use points to its effectiveness for starting new projects, especially ones with high stakes involved.
Tools & tactics for brainstorming
To kick start a new project, the best place to gather the team members is in a wide space which allows a wider range for the visual and conceptual attention.
First, the members should do a few warm-up exercises, also known as ice-breakers. These warm-up activities work because they get the body in an active state, and by increasing blood flow, everyone is relaxed and in an enthusiastic mood.
There are a few necessities for any successful brainstorming, and those include colourful post-it notes, a lively facilitator and a lot of participants – the more the brainier. Colour induces a vibrant state of mind and the facilitator’s job is to serve as a catalyst and watch out for group-think.
Regardless of the magnitude of the project, and the differences in the ranks of the people involved it is important to remember that during this activity everyone should have fun.
How does brainstorming work?
There are a couple of rules regarding brainstorming, which are: no idea is too “dumb” to share, no one should criticise the ideas of others – they should build on them, and the more ideas, even “dumb” ones, the better.
These rules work by combating common beliefs that ideas are secret, come only when the stars align and that they shouldn’t be shared unless absolutely brilliant. These beliefs are counterproductive, and the magic of co-creation is far more powerful than that of chance.
The environment also has a great impact on the participants’ ability to think creatively. The more relaxed the human brain is, the more it explores and imagines ideas that wouldn’t otherwise emerge. The ability to brainstorm to induce a care-free atmosphere among the participants is a result of the speedy and fun dynamic process.
Why it is so popular?
If you are still not convinced why you should include brainstorming at the start of every big project, consider this:
If the approximate cost of a bad idea is X, the cost of repairing a mistake during development is 10X, while the cost of repairing mistakes after the release is 100X.
Brainstorming for ideas, in the beginning, allows room for inexpensive errors, and because the thorough ideation process includes many perspectives, the odds of coming up with a brilliant idea from the get-go are very high. An added bonus to building products with brainstorming is that people genuinely enjoy the process.
The brainstorming framework is easy to administer and has great potential for coming up with new innovative ideas. It brings real results for a very low cost and time investment and serves as a great starting point for any product development or digital innovation your team might be working on.