The Power of BrainstormingJun 07, 2021
We’re all familiar with brainstorming. The concept is pretty straightforward - blocking out time to yourself or coming together with others to come up with ideas about a specific project or opportunity. But how often do you actually take the time to sit down on your own or with a team to do this? When’s the last time you really brainstormed ideas, thoughts and next steps? Setting aside time to brainstorm can elevate the work you are doing in a big way.
Brainstorming sessions hold you accountable for carving out time to think things through. You can block off your calendar and commit to setting aside time to imagine the ways to reach your goals. And when you invite others to be involved in this process, you are more likely to actually take that time.
Accountability is an important part of the process of reaching your goals. When you brainstorm, you are opening the door to new ideas, while also committing to dedicate the time it takes to create something great.
Freedom to be Creative
You may know what brainstorming is, but are you doing it right? You may be scared to suggest an idea because it isn’t feasible, or it could be a bad idea. You get wrapped up into whether an idea is good or bad before you even put it out there. And that can limit the opportunities you have to be creative and think bigger. If you feel uncomfortable sharing an idea because of it being shot down, this is not a brainstorming session.
A brainstorming session is an open forum. Anyone can throw out an idea, no matter how fleshed out, and it goes on the list. It’s not about good or bad ideas. It’s about coming up with ideas, period. Instead of worrying about whether an idea is good or bad, just put it on the list. Brainstorming doesn’t mean everything is getting used, it is just an idea board.
The point of brainstorming is to come up with a big number of ideas- 50, 100. A lot of these will not work on their own, but maybe parts can be added to another project or another idea already suggested. Challenge yourself to think of as many ideas as possible - the end of the big list is often where the good stuff emerges.
Reimagine the status quo
New ideas and fresh perspectives are important. If you always stick to the status quo and never evaluate what can be improved, you won’t grow. Reimagining is an important part of growth. Evaluate what’s working, what’s not, and how it can be improved.
This is why group brainstorming is so exciting. You can bring in team members who aren't as closely associated with the project and get a fresh take on things. They may come up with ideas that you never would have thought of.
And, after you brainstorm, you have an awesome list of ideas and strategies to think about how to implement over a long period of time. Just because you can’t implement something now, doesn’t mean you can’t implement it later.
Building Stronger Teams
Along with new ideas, the opportunity to bring in and include team members in the process builds a stronger group morale. People feel like they are a part of the solution, that their ideas are valued and that they are an important piece of the puzzle.
This can also help team members build their confidence and get more comfortable sharing ideas. Especially for younger or less experienced team members, setting up brainstorming sessions with the concept that any idea is worth sharing can be a great way to get them more acclimated and comfortable. Plus, this experience gives them more ownership and roles in projects.
While it may seem simple, brainstorming is a great way to build better ideas, stronger teams and hold yourself accountable to getting it done. So carve out some time on your calendar this week to brainstorm. You won’t regret it!
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