Brainstorming Session Tips for Better Employee Ideas
The 2020s are a decade already dominated by sweeping age. The looming developments of VR, the metaverse, blockchain, and web 3.0 will create a world where more ideas than ever before are possible.
If you want to succeed in this advanced intellectual age, you can’t just work hard, you have to work smart. At the end of the day, the company that works 20 hours learning how to blast through a wall will fall behind the company that works five hours to build a ladder to climb over it.
One of the best ways to make sure you’re pushing forward with smart ideas is to hold a brainstorming session. Group brainstorming with trusted employees is a great way to come up with spontaneous ideas.
But are you aware there are brainstorming techniques you can apply for a better session? This article will walk you through a few of these tactics.
Encourage Dumb Ideas
While it’s true that you have to work smarter instead of harder, it’s often hard to tell what is smart until you’ve worked the idea out.
Set up a no bad ideas or dumb ideas encouraged policy at your brainstorming sessions. It’s very easy for employee brainstorming sessions to turn into battles of who can come up with the most clever or innovative idea. However, this expectation stifles creativity.
The best brainstorming happens when people are able to throw out their ideas in a fast-and-loose way. By allowing a judgment-free, no-bad-idea environment to reign, you encourage your employees to dig deep into their own individual personalities.
Pay attention to every idea that comes out of your employee’s mouths, and encourage your employees to do such. What seems like a dumb idea to one person might seem like a brilliant idea to another.
It’s very personal that someone will throw out an idea just spitballing — only half-serious — and another employee will see potential in it, and modify it into a workable concept. From there, a third employee might find ways to make it even better and connect it to other ideas.
Many of the most popular products out there start as dumb ideas. A purposefully understuffed stuffed animal sounds silly, but combine it with the fact that understuffing makes it easier to pose and a brilliant scarcity-marketing tactic and you have the beanie baby craze.
The best products, services, and business strategies out there seek to solve problems. Don’t walk into your meeting trying to come up with the next hot product — customers will smell greed right away.
The best products out there are the ones that add value to the world. People won’t buy a product simply because you think it’s what they want. In fact, thinking like this can insult their intelligence.
Apple is one of the most recognizable brands out there. Beyond their incredibly reliable technologies, everyone out there can recognize the products and stores as soon as they see them. This is because everything about Apple is dedicated to making people’s lives simpler.
Do research into your industry. Figure out what people want from companies like you. If you can provide this solution before your competitors, you’ll likely succeed.
To solve problems, it’s best to break down the process into several steps. Check out this article on our site about problem-solving for more information.
When brainstorming, it can be helpful to represent your ideas in the physical realm. Certain ideas are communicated best through language, but others need visuals for maximum understanding.
Make sure that you have a board in your room that people can use to demonstrate visuals. Keep a few laptops handy that people can use to pull up images, clips, and bits of audio that can help give context to ideas.
Many people find it helpful to draw out every idea on a board and connect ideas that are relevant to each other with arrows. This is especially helpful when you’re focusing on a specific topic where you’re generating many parallel concepts.
Sometimes, you can miss when two concepts connect. However, when things are mapped out on a board, things are harder to miss. ideas are all about connections: let those connections prosper.
One of the ways that people communicate their ideas in the world of the arts and entertainment is through mashup. For example, a great way to summarize the recent successful movie Joker would be to say “it’s like Dark Knight meets Taxi Driver”.
This would be making use of two earlier products (the dark depiction of a supervillain in Dark Knight and the story of an outcast driven slowly towards violence in Taxi Driver) to get the idea of a new, novel product across.
The online gaming platform Steam by Valve revolutionized the world of video game creation. Now, anyone can upload their game by paying a simple fee — this allows for new, creative ideas to flourish without the restrictions of higher-ups. This has led to many people describing Steam as “YouTube for games”.
Remember that there are no completely original ideas out there, every idea is built off of a previous one. Embrace your influences to create a better future.
It’s easy to forget when dealing with an intellectual topic that physical changes can help you just as much as mental tactics.
New locations will create a different atmosphere. This is exactly what you want when brainstorming with your employees. Brainstorming should feel like a special time where they’re able to get out the creative sides of their work personalities.
Pick a brainstorming location that your employees can get excited about. This can be as simple as a place where you like to go to lunch/ dinner or as involved as a whole brainstorming room.
Have a Productive Brainstorm Session
Not all brainstorms sessions are created equal. If you can’t break your normal thought patterns, you might as well have an idea box placed in the middle of your office.
However, if you can come up with a dynamic way to generate new ideas, you can come up with a brainstorming session that dominates your industry.
For more information on optimizing thought, contact us today.