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The Basic Rules for Brainstorming

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on October 26, 2007

Feeling stuck? One of the fastest and easiest ways to get unstuck is a simple brainstorm with your staff. Though it’s a technique we’re all familiar with, it’s easy to underestimate the value of thinking out loud together.

Start with identifying the problem or situation that needs to be dealt with. Then ask for random, free-flowing responses from your team. The point here is to conceive innovative and wide-ranging ideas that can lead to viable solutions.

The basic rules for brainstorming are:

• All ideas are captured.
• There are no wrong or dumb ideas.
• Everything gets written down (to be considered later).
• This is a non-judgmental process of collecting peoples’ thoughts and input.
• Everyone should participate.
• Be as creative, open, and perhaps wild ,as possible.
• Get as many responses as you can.

After the brainstorming is complete, follow with an open discussion about the ideas. Some may be expanded, grouped together, or collapsed into each other. This process continues until there is a practical list of options to consider. Whatever idea you decide to pursue, your team is already invested in it—they were all involved in the process from the beginning.

Mallary Tytel
President and Founder
Healthy Workplaces
Sioux Falls, S.D.

Reader Comments

Joan Runnheim Olson

October 28, 2007 11:41 AM

Excellent suggestions. When I brainstorm with an individual leadership client, we alternate coming up with ideas. Otherwise, I may end up being the one coming up with most of the ideas.

Joan Runnheim Olson, M.S.
Certified Career & Leadership Coach
Pathways Career Success Strategies

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