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How to make your brainstorming session more productive

Productive brainstorming session

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Having a productive brainstorming session takes conscious effort. A majority of brainstorming sessions amidst organizations remain unproductive because they are held just as a routine. They have a session and then they get back to their old stuff without tracking what they wanted to achieve and what actually happened.

Here are a few steps you can take to make your brainstorming sessions more productive

  • Email the agenda to all participants. Let it be known that everybody should be aware of the background of the brainstorming session. All the participants must know what’s the agenda and in what light the topics are going to be covered.
  • Make discussions visual. Use an overhead project if possible but if notes are being made, everybody should be able to see them and then get a copy at the end of the brainstorming session.
  • Have a tangible end result in mind. Most brainstorming sessions fail because people have no idea of the end result. What is expected of the session? What’s the team trying to achieve? Make every member aware of the goal of the brainstorming session.
  • Communicate ideas in a non-threatening manner. Most people find new ideas and approaches threatening. You need to sell them your ideas like a salesperson — what’s in it for them? Don’t make it into another office task to be get over it. Promote it as an opportunity.
  • Be particular about the follow-up. Make sure that whatever follow up was drawn during the session, it is executed accordingly.
  • Make people responsible for the follow-up. Things don’t just happen; people make them happen (and we’re not talking about mateor appearing suddenly). When people come out of the brainstorming session, each member should clearly know what he or she has to do within a designated time-frame.
  • Keep in touch with the members. This is very important. There needs to be a constant contact after the brainstorming session in order to make it productive. The team members should know that it’s a serious matter and they are being monitored.
  • Document the progress. When procedures and results are documented they are easy to track and people feel more accountable. Inculcate a habit among the team members of documenting their progress on a regular basis.

Go more ideas on how to make your brainstorming sessions more productive? Please share them in the comments section.