Everybody knows what’s brainstorming is right?
“Of course, I know how to brainstorm, it’s easy!”
However, there is a big difference between doing it and doing it right. Compare it to football – most people know how to kick a ball but that doesn’t make you Messi.
Do you think you and your team’s brainstorming skills are on point? We’ll list 5 common mistakes, how many are you guilty of?
1. Experts only!
“I’ll invite CEO, COO, CFO and blah blah blah…” Don’t make this classic mistake. Just because someone represents a leadership position in the company, that doesn’t automatically make them idea geniuses. Bring someone from manufacturing or customer service. Ask that guy who loves Game of Thrones to join. With their knowledge of what’s going on in your organization’s daily operations, these are some of the people who can bring new and fresh insights into the problems you are facing. Remember, diversity counts.
2. Manager speaks first!
“Let’s start by setting up the agenda and telling people that the ideas must be achievable!” WRONG. Don’t restrict people’s imagination. By setting up limits, the best ideas might stay unsaid, and you’ll potentially miss a big opportunity. Let the idea juices flow freely in the first ideation phase.
3. Writing down everything!
Crafting a detailed transcript of the meeting might be a tempting idea. You can look at it later and see if you missed anything, right?
Forget about it. You’re there to create and elaborate on the new ideas, not to bore people. It slows the whole process and shifts attention from the important stuff.
“Creativity consists of coming up with many ideas, not just that one great idea.” – Charles Thompson
4. We love democracy!
“Suzan starts, then Brian talks, followed by Maja, etc…” Great idea! If you want to make the meeting purposeless. Idea creation in this setup doesn’t work.
Let people speak as they want. Some people have more input, and that’s fine. Participation cannot be forced. This, however, does not mean you should accept interruptions – introduce the kindergarten talking stick if you have to.
5. No nonsense!
“Please come up with new ideas but make it realistic and doable.” WHAT? Killing the brainstorming meeting right from the beginning, are we?
Let people have fun and come up with crazy ideas. As crazy as it may sound from the beginning, you never know which one will stick. No idea is born perfect and they all need further work to be the next big thing you are dreaming of! Moreover, some even argue that all truly impactful ideas are thought to be ridiculous at first.
So how did you do? Would you pass the test? Innovation management is complicated and complex. Embrace the chaos and learn from it. Let me know in the comment section if you have any questions and follow me for more innovation and my business content.