5 tips to improve the productivity of brainstorming

Brainstorming is effective and effective, but its process is not always productive

At this point of the story, no one would question the effective value of a brainstorming (the famous ‘brainstorming’) or the same yes. In any case, we are left with the opinion and experience of The Boston Consulting Group, which considers that it can represent a breakthrough for organizations. “However,” they maintain from this consultant, “there are a number of details that hinder their productivity.” And for that, he has developed five steps to improve the productivity of brainstorming:

1. Get the right people together and make them feel proud of their participation

“To ensure that different points of view are represented, we have to select a group as diverse as possible in terms of professional career, academic training, years of experience, gender, position, etc. In addition, these people must arrive with a status of positive spirit, they must be sure that they can add some value to the session, since most people have a high regard for the creative quality, they must show importance to their participation in brainstorming. selected according to certain criteria to feel valued and, in this way, show those qualities that have led them to that session.

2. Create a safe environment for the most risky or radical ideas

“Once a series of new ideas has been generated, the detractors and the impediments come in. In order to overcome these obstacles and not discard in advance more risky and radical ideas, we must think long term, requesting, for example, the participants imagine that they are five years ahead of the company and that the volume of sales has tripled.The reflection on the path that has been chosen to reach those results will allow the participants to think of other more radical ideas. extensive and explore what was needed to get there, the brainstorming teams can put aside prejudices, assumptions and resounding ‘no’ and enter a new territory”

3. Vote ideas by classifying them into two categories: safe and risky

“When participants are asked to vote on the ideas they have generated, the discomfort with the unknown usually leads them to choose options that seem to be the most reliable and feasible, even if those ideas were what the business has tried and could not execute previously, or initiatives that are already underway, so that the most secure and short-term initiatives tend to be approved.The most complex ideas with a long-term profitability are ignored, simply because they are less secure and more difficult to visualize, this is known as the ‘ambiguity effect’, in which the lack of information causes people to choose options where the path to success is the most familiar or affordable one way to overcome this barrier is to make Participants expand their choices, for example, by classifying ideas into two categories: safe and risky, in addition to overcoming the human tendency to go with the ap As a result, this approach results in a series of more varied options with different points of view “

4. Ensuring that all members have a leading role and are heard

“As a general rule, high-ranking people can dominate the most introverted people in the group and can result in some of the best ideas never being heard.” To overcome this problem, you should first share the questions or topics try in advance and ask everyone to attend the meeting with a list of their ideas, you can even set up a private ‘ideas box’, online or offline, where people can send ideas, remaining anonymous. Meeting itself, you have to start with a few minutes of individual reflection before forming a team, then people must share and develop ideas in groups.When it is time to vote for ideas, it is convenient to give the possibility of people registering your elections anonymously through a secret ballot of some kind”

5. Be clear about the actions to be taken after the session

“The energy, inspiration and excitement generated by a good brainstorming session may not be productive without a commitment to concrete actions.” At the end of each session, participants should be asked to specify what steps they will follow for practical ideas. They can commit to doing something relatively simple, such as researching more about an idea, talking with a colleague from another department, or trying out an idea with a client, or committing to something more substantial, such as hiring a new team or redesigning a process – the follow-up might just be for the organizers to share the list of ideas generated and the action steps for a given date, but, whatever it may be, this final step is critical because it channels positive energy from the brainstorming session to productive action, without such closure, participants might end up feeling that they had simply lost their time”

We recommend that you read the full article on this topic, by Alan Inyy Julia Fetherston of BCG, in Five Ways to Nudge Your Brainstorms to Greatness.