Tips and Tricks for Team Brainstorming

Ideas, ideas, ideas. They’re fun to think about, expand, and explore. I’ve been brainstorming non-stop since joining Mindjet, and have found that combining it with mind mapping is the secret to sustaining productivity. For instance, I’ve fully incorporated this duo into my blogging practices, and will never run out of ideas for future posts!

And while it’s pretty easy for me to sit down and start mind mapping something out for myself, it’s admittedly much harder to do it with a team of varied outlooks. But in the end it’s also these differences that make the creative process so magical — especially when the dynamics of your team create positive synergy! Here are some rules and tips to help make your next group brainstorming session a success.

5 Rules for Team Brainstorming

  1. Stress quantity over quality
  2. Encourage wild ideas
  3. Suspend judgment
  4. Ignore seniority
  5. Forbid evaluation of ideas

Eight Tips for Team Brainstorming

Meanwhile, Robert Sutton, professor at Stanford’s School of Engineering, a co-founder of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford, offers these tips on group brainstorming.

  1. Use brainstorming to combine and extend ideas, not just to harvest ideas.
  2. Don’t bother if people live in fear. Understand if your organizational culture supports brainstorming or if it is doomed to fail.
  3. Do individual brainstorming before and after group sessions.
  4. Brainstorming sessions are worthless unless they are woven with other work practices like observing users, talking to experts, or building prototype products.
  5. Brainstorming requires skill and experience both to do and, especially, to facilitate.
  6. A good brainstorming session is competitive—in the right way.
  7. Use brainstorming sessions for more than just generating good ideas.
  8. Follow the rules, or don’t call it a brainstorm.

Dig in deeper for a more in-depth review of Robert’s tips.

Want to take it a step further? Turn your brainstorms into a task board by giving ProjectDirector a whirl.

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