Do Ideas

Our thoughts on innovation and doing ideas

17 Sep 2013

5 ways to make sure that your brainstorms don’t suck

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1: Start before the storm
 At 21Tanks, pre-discovery is a big part of the process. Once your group is in the room, they become a single unit. You need to get some individual thinking in the mix. Ask three relevant questions to all attendees before the process begins. Get ideas in writing.
 
2: Get perspective
If you can, bring an outsider into every brainstorm, the less you can tell them before you start the better. Your brainstorm needs fresh thinking, not more of the same.
 
3: Don’t ask the bosses
The last voice in the room you want to hear from is the big cheese. Don’t get me wrong, we want to know what they think, we just don’t want them to influence every thought. Ask them, just ask them last.
 
4: Structure is key
The biggest mistake people make with brainstorms is they think that they’re a complete free-for-all – they’re not. Your thinking needs to be free, but the best way to do that is with a structured process. There are many number of these online, or you can develop your own, just make sure that your process drives the room to fulfill an objective.
 
5: Shorter is better:
These whole day affairs seem like a good idea – they’re not. Within an hour or two everyone becomes “invested” in an idea or two, from that point, all perspective is lost. If I had an hour to spend, I’d spend 15-mins on setting the scene, 30 minutes on ideation, and 15-minutes on working out the executable next steps. 
 
Luckily, if you need some help in this regard, you can download Do Ideas for free. You’re welcome.

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