Apparently group brainstorming doesn't necessarily produce more or better ideas than individuals brainstorming on their own. Studies show, however, that it does improve teamwork and morale. Keeping a team on-page about the thinking behind an idea is invaluable to maintaining focus and motivation.
With that in mind, here's a refresher on the four basic rules on brainstorming, for individuals and groups alike:
- Focus on quantity Creativity is gauged by divergent thinking. The more paths of thinking you follow, the higher chance you have of producing an innovative and effective solution.
- Don't say "no" This is not the time to tie down your thinking cap. Let it fly! Leaving criticisms for a later time allows unusual ideas to emerge. These ideas can be evaluated later for their effectiveness, alignment with the brief, and feasibility for the budget.
- Nurture the unusual The best solutions come out of new ways of thinking; otherwise there wouldn't be a need for the job. Try new perspectives. Wear different shoes. Ask strange questions.
- Combine and improve ideas Working with association provokes the next step. What have people done before you? What is your client currently doing? How can it be better? What's working? How can that combine with something new? It's helpful to have a springboard to get started…as long as you don't say no to those out-of-the-blue ideas as well!