A good brainstorming

starts in silence!

Drawing: Pierre Guité. A good brainstorming starts in silence by Sylvie Gendreau, Pocket Lab, Dreamingtheworld.tv

Drawing: Pierre Guité. A good brainstorming starts in silence by Sylvie Gendreau, Pocket Lab, Dreamingtheworld.tv

Are great ideas emerge during a traditional brainstorming session? Not really. Because few talented people lead these sessions. This probably explains the bad reputation that has gained this method over time. At the opening of the session, more extroverted embark with enthusiasm and passion. Introverts listen and adhere to the ideas of the first without really share what they think. If some wish to express, they rarely have an opportunity to really do so. And you know how it works, when we have an idea in mind, it becomes more difficult to think of other ideas. It is always best to express our ideas before hearing those of others. Not to mention that in business, it often happens that people prefer not to share their ideas by fear of being responsible for their execution. Studies show that the best brainstorms are silent (20% more ideas)1. They allow everyone to express themselves freely. According to Loran Nordgren, professor at the Kellogg University, brainstorming would be even more effective when they are anonymous.

The method consists, firstly, to ask people to write their ideas on separate cards (one idea per card) and go stick them to the wall. The facilitator must insist that each person write so as not to be recognized. Secondly, all participants vote for the best ideas. After these first two steps, in groups, the most interesting ideas are analyzed. Only at the very end, we can possibly discover who are the authors of the chosen idea. What makes the quality of a brainstorming is the quantity of ideas generated, read the post, As many ideas as possible.

The more ideas the better. It is important not to assess their values, at this stage, the quality is irrelevant. Gross ideas are just ways to start the real process of reflection and creation that will follow. The real results occur during the interaction between the participants to explore the ideas adopted by imagining a thousand possible combinations. It is often when turning over an idea from all angles that 'genius' is revealed.

For a successful brainstorming, it's better to write first and talk later. This approach avoids trying to sound smart at all costs to impress others. The atmosphere becomes more pleasant and relaxed, it allows everyone to express themselves. Introverts and extroverts alike, learning to brainstorm side by side.

The famous author in Marketing, Seth Godin, advises to associate 'Pictionary' to 'buzz management'. It is his bad memories of the college that gave him the idea of his method. He did not like quizzes where you press a button to say the answer. What frustrated him was that even if one knows the answer, another often pressed the button before. For creative activities, we strongly advise to press the same button before whether we know the answer. If anything, Godin said, maybe you will have the answer just because you pressed the button!

The 'buzz management' associated with the method that inspired the Pictionary game, "A board game whose goal is to guess a word, phrase, or idea to his partner in a limited time, with the aid of a drawing. The name is a contraction of the words picture and dictionary. It was created in 1985 by Rob Angel with the drawings of Gary Everson and Terry Langston."2

How does it work? Players are divided into teams. Each team member is turn in a designer. The playmaker draws a card and announces to all players if it is a noun, verb, adjective, adverb, or expression, and points they can earn. At a signal, the player draws the word in question, and his team has one minute to guess. If team members guess, this team wins the points and continue the game by drawing another word, etc. The other group has the right to guess the word. If the other group guesses the word, this group receives a 50 point bonus. The teams can also be isolated with their designer and the fastest team wins. One should only draw. Numbers, letters, words and actions are prohibited; the rebus are allowed."3

So when they see a drawing, participants are asked to say words, much like a charade. If it is in a the spirit of 'buzz management', everyone will say the words quickly. This process has the advantage of being fun and help generate ideas easily. With one word every five seconds, that's twelve ideas per minute, you get 720 ideas in an hour per person! "

To have 99 good ideas, we must have generated at least 900," says Seth Godin. The goal of brainstorming is that people feel free to issue the wildest ideas as the most serious and take a pleasure in these sessions that must generate joy and not frustration. This is a game where the participants agreed on the rules and play. Create is a fun activity that energizes and de-stresses. Fun... and reread As Many Ideas As Possible to remember that variation is at the origin of Evolution.