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Brainstorming

9 steps

Step # 1
Define a clear
and realistic
brainstorming
challenge

Find a brainstorm question for which


theres a real need to find answers.

Source
http://www.business-strategy-innovation.com/2010/02/brainstorming-breakthroughs-require.html

Step # 2
Find a neutral
person to facilitate
the process

Brainstorm facilitating is a service.


It is supposed to be a selfless act that enables
others to arrive at their own solutions - no matter
how different they may be from the facilitator's.

Source:
http://www.ideachampions.com/weblogs/archives/2010/08/einstein_brains_1.shtml

The best facilitators


 nurture the conversation in its early stages,
 step out of the way as the ideas start to flow,
 jump in again when energy starts to
peter out.

Source: http://aneyewitness.wordpress.com/2008/04/08/eureka/

They [facilitator] manages the flow of ideas


by encouraging everyone to contribute.

Source
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1301894/take_the_brainstorm_quiz_pg2.html?cat=3

The manager is often a poor choice for the


role as facilitator, as managers cannot
stop themselves from shaping the content.

Source: http://www.innovationtools.com/Articles/ArticleDetails.asp?a=555

When brainstorms are led by upper management,


department heads, or project leaders, they usually
get manipulated.

Source: http://www.business-strategy-innovation.com/wordpress/2011/02/dont-let-puppetmaster-control-ideation/

The facilitator can also distribute, for


example, snacks and drinks, to the
people who contribute with ideas.

Source
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1783434/run_creative_ideas_events.html?cat=3

Step # 3
Find an inspiring
meeting place
Source: http://www.ideachampions.com/weblogs/archives/2010/07/post_12.shtml

Step # 4
Invite 6-8 people
who really care
about the topic
Source: http://www.business-strategy-innovation.com/2010/04/26-reasons-why-most-brainstorming.html

The rule here is simple:


Pick people who can answer the
question youre asking.

Source: https://www.mckinseyquarterly.com/Seven_steps_to_better_brainstorming_2767

The broader the mix of participants, the


more interesting the ideas are likely to be.

Source: http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/management/article6985219.ece

Include outsiders,
for example customers

Source: http://designshack.co.uk/articles/inspiration/10-tips-for-effective-creative-brainstorming

Ask participants to show up with 3 ideas


- to ensure they will think about the
brainstorming challenge.

Source: http://www.bnet.com/article/the-right-way-to-brainstorm/68480

In the invitation to the brainstorm,


the facilitator can also encourage
participants to bring objects.

Source: http://www.fastcompany.com/articles/2001/03/kelley.html?page=0,1

Step # 5
Communicate
values of the
brainstorm

Openness
Experimentation
Creation
Exploration
Creativity

Community
Helping
Collaboration
Kindness
Social

Individualism

Safety
Security

Dominance
Control
Power
Competition

Tradition
Harmony
Conformity

Encourage wild ideas

Sources:
http://www.ideachampions.com/weblogs/archives/2010/07/post_12.shtml
http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/jul2006/id20060726_517774.htm

Remain open to even the most


outrageous - or stupidest - ideas.

Source: http://www.bnet.com/article/the-right-way-to-brainstorm/68480

If, as a leader, you want brainstorming to


generate truly novel outside-the-box ideas,
why not lead brainstorming by example and
come up with the craziest possible ideas?

Source
http://innovtoday.wordpress.com/2010/01/27/lead-brainstorming-by-taking-the-ridicule/

No criticism or negative judgments


are allowed.
The person who critizes ideas will
pay for coffee after the brainstorm.

Sources
http://www.triz-journal.com/content/c080901a.asp
http://www.business-strategy-innovation.com/wordpress/2010/12/10-steps-to-successful-brainstorming/
http://www.pixelio.de/details.php?image_id=277876&mode=search

The facilitator encourages participants to


build on ideas of the other participants.
For example, combine 2 ideas to create
an even better idea.

Sources:
http://www.bnet.com/article/the-right-way-to-brainstorm/68480
http://www.triz-journal.com/content/c080901a.asp
http://www.business-strategy-innovation.com/wordpress/2010/12/10-steps-to-successful-brainstorming/

No distractions. No interruptions.
No coming and going during
the brainstorm session.

Source: http://www.ideachampions.com/weblogs/archives/2011/01/most_people_thi.shtml

The power of group brainstorming comes from


creating a safe place where people with
different ideas can share, blend, and extend
their diverse knowledge.

Source: http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/content/jul2006/id20060726_517774.htm

The right use of humor is a great way


to help people tap into their right brains

Source: http://www.ideachampions.com/weblogs/archives/2010/04/right_ways_of_w.shtml

Step # 6
Define the goal
of the brainstorm

The goal of this brainstorming session


is for you to come up with as at least
x ideas that answer the question.

Source
http://www.business-strategy-innovation.com/wordpress/2010/06/ideation-dos-and-donts/

Go for a quantity of ideas.


Let go of perfectionism.

Sources:
http://www.ideachampions.com/weblogs/archives/2010/07/post_12.shtml
http://www.business-strategy-innovation.com/wordpress/2010/12/10-steps-to-successful-brainstorming/

Step # 7
Idea
development

Please write only


1 idea per post-it note.

Nothing gets an idea across faster than


drawing it. Doesnt matter how terrible
of a sketcher you are.

Sources
http://www.greenbusinessinnovators.com/7-rules-of-brainstorming-from-ideo
http://www.pixelio.de/details.php?image_id=351643&mode=search

The facilitator puts up all ideas on the


wall and categorizes the ideas.

Step # 8
Choose high
potential ideas

Each person has 3 ticks he/she can use to


pick out 1 or more ideas, he/she sees as
high potential ideas.

2 criteria when picking high potential ideas

Criteria A
Will the idea create value for customers?
Criteria B
Can the idea be implemented with relatively low costs?

Source
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2817678/how_to_evaluate_ideas_pg2.html?cat=55

The facilitator removes all


not high potential ideas.

Step # 9
Participants
choose tasks
Source
http://www.business-strategy-innovation.com/wordpress/2010/06/ideation-dos-and-donts/

Implementation is the name of the game.


Before you let people go, clarify next steps,
who's doing what and by when.

Source: http://www.ideachampions.com/weblogs/archives/2011/01/most_people_thi.shtml

Tasks are chosen, not assigned


The Web is an opt-in economy. Whether contributing to
a blog, working on an open source project, or sharing
advice in a forum, people choose to work on the things
that interest them. Everyone is an independent
contractor, and everyone scratches their own itch.

Source
Hamel, Gary: The Facebook Generation vs. the Fortune 500.
http://blogs.wsj.com/management/2009/03/24/the-facebook-generation-vs-the-fortune-500/