Brainstorming is an often overlooked part of the innovation process. A facilitated group brainstorm session can be a good way to uncover new ideas within a team, get to know team members and secure buy-in and social capital for the resultant ideas. Brainstorming can also be conducted alone.
The critical aspect of the process is the external description or articulation of ideas. Often post it notes or notecards are used to record each idea. The external articulation of ideas in this manner enables them to be sorted, or expanded upon, as part of the session or in subsequent activities, such as when Refining Ideas or Identifying Research Questions.
Key things to consider in facilitating or conducting a brainstorm process:
- There should be a culture of ‘no idea is wrong or too wild’
- Ideas should not be critiqued or discussed in detail
- An approach of ‘yes, and…’ as opposed to ‘yes, but…’ in responding to ideas and suggestions helps to build ideas and create an environment where everyone feels comfortable contributing.