Most of us have had the experience of being called into a ‘brainstorming session’. You and your work mates sit about chewing the fat around a particular concept, problem or idea. Generally, results are patchy to say the least. Why is that? Surely great minds working together should produce exceptional results?
Life is simply too short for bad brainstorming.
That is why here at Microcomms we’ve teamed up with market leaders and technology veterans David Martin and Nancy Knowlton (the brains behind the SMART Board™) to bring you their latest business solution – the Nureva.
1. Just the usual suspects
Next time you’re in a collaborative session, scan the room. If everyone looks like you, or works in the same functional area, or gets information from the same sources, you may be in trouble. Same old perspectives will just lead to same old results.
SOLUTION: If you’re trying to think differently, make sure at least one new person is present. Don’t be limited by geography – the Nureva makes your remote contributors feel like they’re in the room with you.
2. Ill-designed spaces
Many meeting spaces are designed for information consumption, not creation. If you’re gathering your team in a sterile boardroom, you may be stifling the creativity you want to cultivate.
SOLUTION: Design your meeting rooms – and ad hoc working spaces – with creativity and collaboration in mind. If you’re looking for ideas:
3. Uneven participation
At least one-third of the population are introverts, so you’re guaranteed to work with at least a few of them. Do you provide opportunities for these people to contribute – even if it’s not verbally?
SOLUTION: Let people contribute with digital sticky notes.
4. Facilitator over-steering
Facilitators can play a key role in keeping brainstorming sessions on track. But if you place too much power in their hands, they may be skewing the results more than you (or they) think. Next time you’re in a session, pay attention to which ideas get written down fully and which don’t. Which ideas get expanded on, and which are neglected.
SOLUTION: Let everyone use the same working canvas (physical or virtual) to contribute and organize ideas. Don’t make one person the arbiter of what really counts.
5. Session interrupted
We’ve all been there. Everyone’s warmed up, the ideas are starting to flow – and then there’s a knock on the door signaling time is up. So everyone scrambles to put an artificial end to the discussion while snapping photos of the scrawls on the board or rushing around picking up oversized pieces of paper. By the time the group gets together again, the momentum is lost.
SOLUTION: Choose a cloud-based solution, such as Span software, that lets everyone continue to generate ideas after the group work is done. With this type of solution, it’s also easier to pick things up in another space if you get booted from your meeting room early.