On a sunny Tofino beach walk during the holidays a friend shared his list of brainstorming rules. 

Different people have different styles of idea generation. Some prefer quiet, contemplative time, some thrive on other people’s energy. I like a combination of both. Some quiet research time before a brainstorm gives me an informed starting point. That being said, being brought into a brainstorm blindly can be valuable too. Having no background on a topic means you don't carry any presumptions or judgments. During aasman's brainstorms we often have cameo visits from a colleague who knows nothing about the project. Their ideas really challenge the team to use a fresh perspective. 

It helps to have guidelines when generating ideas in a team. I thought my friends’s list was a great framework: 

1. Defer judgment – never say no.

2. Encourage wild ideas –you'll have time to weed out impossible or inappropriate ones later.

3. Listen and respond – build on the ideas of others.

4. Stay focused on one topic – a wee tangent is okay, but come back to the point.

5. One conversation at a time – hold that thought…or use a notepad if you can't.

6. Be visual – crappy doodles can hold golden communications

7. Go for quantity – you want to be confident that you've exhausted all possibilities.

8. Remember to document! 

Do you have any guidelines you find useful for brainstorming?


Be the first to comment

Most Read Articles

Bland or Brilliant

Have you heard of the little town called Okotoks? I have. It’s where my family lives… Read more

Learning from American Apparel’s mistakes

Today I learned that American Apparel — best known for it’s sexually provocative advertising and its… Read more

#optoutside - The value of authenticity

For all the outdoor junkies and gearheads getting their fix from REI, you’ll have to look… Read more

Words count, but behaviour matters

Everybody on the planet knows by now that your brand is not your logo, a set… Read more

Think you’re smart about candy?

Fear not. This post is not about health. I love candy and hope you are still… Read more

So many browser windows, so little time

Ok, be honest. How many of you have slapped “excellent time management skills” on to your… Read more