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Brainstorming Tips That are Easy and Fun

Aug 17, 2007
It has become such a part of corporate life, it now ranks right up there with the morning coffee and the water cooler powwow. The company-wide brainstorming session has taken its place among the most common, most attended, and unfortunately, the most dreaded of all corporate events. Many times, companies with incorporate principles of team-building and even competition into brainstorming sessions, but these frills really aren't necessary. Let's take a closer look at brainstorming and how you can turn this ho hum, Monday morning ritual into something your people genuinely enjoy.

The first step is to not treat your people like children. And this goes for every aspect of the workplace, but especially meetings and brainstorming sessions. You want your employees to feel welcomed and appreciated, not tricked into playing games that were originally devised for kindergartners to help them think up the next big ad campaign or the next successful product line. If you want to stop your people from dreading the Monday morning brainstorm, start making them feel welcome!

The second important tip is to come up with innovative but adult ways of stimulating new and original thought. Instead of pitting your people against each other in artificial, meaningless teams, or stealing something from your 8-year-old's class activity book, try to come up with fun methods of brainstorming that don't insult the intelligence of the group you're trying to help. If you need to come up with an ad campaign for a new product, have your people make a list of every ad campaign they can think of and have them list what they like and don't like. Start a mature, adult conversation about what really works in ads and what doesn't. Turn the brainstorm into a thoughtful, intelligent discussion and you'll be shocked at how much progress you make.

Are ads not your business? How about product development? Have your people make a list of products they miss from their childhood that they wish were still around. Or how about lists of regional products they used and liked but can't find in their area? Or even a product list of things that don't' even exist yet! You can have successful brainstorming without resulting to gimmicky games, competition and absurd team building exercises that everyone secrets despises.

Finally, if you can't come up with any additional brainstorming ideas, it is more than OK to ask the people you're trying to help for ideas! After all, they are the ones that are being asked to do the work, why not let them have some feedback on the methods and techniques being used to extract them? This can seem like a foreign concept for management because it sounds like they are admitting they don't have any fresh ideas. It's actually exactly the opposite. A good manager knows to ask the people they are trying to help how they can communicate more effectively.
About the Author
Pat Jackson is an expert on brainstorming. If you would like to learn more about brainstorming and exciting new free brainstorming techniques , visit http://www.AboutBrainstorming.com
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