Having trouble brainstorming or finding an innovative way out of your problems? Brainstorming can be an interesting and even fun solution! Learn everything in our post!
Brainstorming meetings are essential moments or documents in communication agencies. These meetings are responsible for turning mere ideas into tangible, creative campaigns that address the needs and goals of clients.
However, if misused, brainstorming (also known as storm or brainstorming) can result in a waste of time for the entire team. With that in mind, we created this complete material to help you and your team make these processes more productive . Check out!
What is brainstorming and how does it work?
In literal translation, brainstorming means “brainstorming,” applied both to meetings to create strategies for the business itself and to create customer campaigns. Regardless of the purpose, brainstorming is a practice widely used in marketing and advertising agencies , but it has been gaining strength among the most diverse segments.
Created over 70 years ago by author Alex Osborn, brainstorming is the moment when all these ideas come to fruition – whether to solve a problem, create a new product, or simply plan the actions of a period.
Osborn ruined the creative process as it existed at the time in four phases:
- focus on quantity
- restraint of criticism
- openness to unusual ideas
- combination and improvement of ideas
The author has designed these steps to spark creativity, especially when you are having a storm of group ideas. He found that this process removes inhibitions that people typically have when sharing ideas among their colleagues.
In other words, brainstorming combines a relaxed and informal approach to problem solving with lateral thinking. He encourages people to come up with thoughts and ideas that at first glance seem pretty crazy.
However, some of these ideas can be shaped into original and creative solutions to a problem, while others may come up with more imaginative thoughts. This helps employees break free by “jerking” themselves out of their normal ways of thinking.
Later, the technique remains unanimous among the creatives. In practice, by having the client briefing in hand, the idea is to bring everyone involved in the project together and schedule a meeting whose main objective is to solve the client problem in question.
Where to use?
Basically, brainstorming can be applied to all sectors of a company, such as developing articles, optimizing ideas or developing new ones, or even restructuring logistics.
You can adopt this strategy to find the best keywords, to boost performance in a particular area of the organization, or in any situation that requires creativity.
However, when starting this process it is necessary to identify what is the problem to be solved. This way, you can start brainstorming to break a deadlock or create something new.
Individual or group brainstorming?
The brainstorming can come either on its own, so that you travel within your own mind, or in groups to share thoughts to come up with interesting and innovative solutions. Both have their ups and downs.
While group brainstorming is more effective at generating ideas than traditional meetings, taking a mental trip alone can also lead to great solutions.
This can be because groups do not always follow the rules of brainstorming, and bad behaviors can infiltrate the process. In most cases, however, it is because people pay close attention to others that it prevents them from generating ideas of their own – or they eventually forget while waiting for their turn to speak. This is called a “lock”.
When you brainstorm individually, you don’t have to worry about the ego or opinions of others, making you freer and potentially more creative. For example, you may find that an idea you would hesitate to bring to a group develops cool when you explore it yourself.
However, you may not develop good ideas on your own because you do not have the experience that other members of a group would have.
Individual brainstorming is most effective when you need to solve a simple problem, generate a list of ideas, or focus on a broad issue. In turn, group brainstorming is more effective at solving complex problems.
The advantage here is to have at hand the experiences and creativity of all team members. When someone hangs at one point, someone else can take the idea to the next stage. You can dig deeper into group ideas.
Another benefit is the feeling that everyone contributed to the solution, and reinforces the idea that everyone has something creative to contribute. Not to mention it’s fun and can be great for team building.
Wherever possible, participants should be as diverse as possible from various disciplines. This multidisciplinary experience can make sessions more creative . However, don’t make too large groups: teams of five to seven people are usually the most effective.
What are the most common brainstorming steps?
Just like any strategy that needs to be implemented, brainstorming also has a number of steps to complete for a more efficient outcome. Know what these processes are.
First, let your team know what the brainstorming agenda will be. This makes ideas appear more focused, which avoids wasting energy when ideas are presented at random.
So make your subject introduction material available to your team and let them evaluate it.
The next step is the team meeting . Here, keep in mind that some people may be embarrassed when expressing themselves in front of their colleagues. With that in mind, set the mood for everyone to be comfortable with.
Before the meeting begins, allow time for employees to put their ideas in place. When the process begins pay attention to all the ideas, and give them the same time to present them. Ten minutes is enough.
In the course of brainstorming, write down all the ideas that are coming up and use a place visible to the group. This shows that all ideas are being taken seriously.
Collect as many ideas as possible, trying to expand your mind to understand each employee’s vision. Never judge or diminish an idea, as this can bring insecurity and cut the flow of creativity.
If the intention is to make the selection with the group, start by discarding those ideas that are duplicated. Review all contributions and eliminate those that are bad or average, but gently.
By doing so, you will come up with a smaller number of ideas and you will be able to study further those with good potential. Finally, say that the process was productive and thank everyone for their collaboration.
Point out to the team what were the ideas that stood out and why they were chosen. Following is the time to delve into these ideas. No need to keep the whole team for this process, you can count on up to three people.
What are the main methods for getting ideas flowing?
Brainstorming has become an art and the key to not only undermining new ideas but also crystallizing them into practical processes . Not sure how to structure brainstorming? Try any of these popular methods the next time your idea tank is empty. These methods can be used for both individual and group brainstorming, see what they are.
Part of the brainstorming challenge is trying to capture each of the ideas traveling through the air. Mind maps are creative, nonlinear diagrams used to capture the whole flow of ideas so you don’t miss a thing.
Start with a topic or question in the center of the map, and create logs to include the thoughts of all participants.
Gap filling, also known as gap analysis, requires that you identify your current state and your ultimate goal, and then find gaps, bottlenecks, and possibilities between the two states. This method asks the question: How will we get out of here to get there? ”
Gap analysis is especially useful when it comes to solving a cucumber as it requires you to find viable solutions. Flowcharts and mind maps can help you draw the grid of your gaps.
The SWOT analysis (also known as SWOT matrix), as told in various posts here on the blog, is a strategic planning exercise that you can make use to evaluate a project, campaign, service, individual or business. The acronym SWOT stands for:
- Strenghts : How do your services, projects and business model dominate or stand out in the marketplace?
- Weaknesses : What are the flaws or imperfections that can damage or harm your business?
- Opportunities : What external opportunities can your business take advantage of?
- Threats : What are the possible external problems and crises that could hurt your business?
If you’ve ever been questioned by a small child, you know how these five whys can sound. You answer a question just to be bombarded by a frantic sequence of “why? Why? Why? Why? Why?”
But truth be told: this child is legitimately curious. Created by Taiichi Ohno, the father of the kanban system , the five whys became popular at Toyota as a standard process for analyzing root causes, to get to the heart of the problem.
Less structured than the other methods, the 5 whys works the way you thought: ask “why” one after another until you get to the root of the obstacle or setback. This technique encourages an open dialogue that can generate new ideas about a problem, individually or in groups. Each why gets the answer of the previous why.
Just as a reporter tries to find out the essential information for a story, the starbursting method requires that you think about who, what, where, when, why, and how for any new ideas.
Put your main idea in the center of a star chart, labeling each star’s “little leg” with 5 whys.
Then develop a series of questions about your idea at each point. Starbursting is very popular with brainstorming methods because of its exploratory nature: one question is linked to another, and before you know it, you have an outline of a solid strategy in the middle of the answers.
Also known as method 6-3-5, brainwrinting was created by German professor Bernd Rohrbach, with the purpose of getting 108 ideas in half an hour. In this technique, you have to record the ideas to define a specific goal and the quality of each suggestion.
This strategy requires six people writing three ideas on paper over a five-minute period. After six rounds, totaling 30 minutes, you will have 108 ideas available.
The use of these sticky papers gives more prominence to the ideas, adding agility to brainstorming, and inspiring the team to actively participate in the process.
Give each contributor a pen and pen and ask them to write their ideas. Then put all the papers on a wall.
Encourage participants’ creativity by making it clear that you can also draw to illustrate their ideas.
Improvising is common to all of us. After all, at some point in life, we all had to find a quick solution to a problem.
The main advantage of improvisation is to increase the creative flow, avoiding blockages. Working every day, in the same environment and with the same images, can make your brain get used to it and have trouble thinking things out of the curve.
In this sense, propose improvisation games so that your team leaves the comfort zone and has to think of new ideas for the proposed problem.
According to a Solo Career study , our brain can record images 60,000 times faster than texts. Marketing often uses this information, worrying about fonts, colors and logos that catch people’s attention.
This concept can also be applied to brainstorming using images that stimulate the brains of employees. Build a mural with images that relate to the theme.
Creating a more visual environment encourages the person to ” move ” to the problem scene, which makes them easily see the solution. This is because the lines of reasoning are expanded, making brainstorming flow better.
Do you know what opposite brainstorming means? This concept is nothing more than reversing or increasing a particular problem. Let’s assume that the main bottleneck is centered on the difficulty of retaining current customers.
In this case, instead of asking yourself, “What are the best practices for retaining a customer ?” Thus, you can understand what not to do when it comes to retaining customers and think of actions that might help to solve this problem.
But after all, how to do an efficient brainstorming?
Ensuring that brainstorming meetings bring effective results depends on a few key factors:
Have a theme set
As stated earlier, it is critical that everyone has clear goals in mind when it comes to delivering results to customers. And as much as freedom is a key factor for each person to put out what they are thinking, the best thing to do is to delimit the theme before the meeting takes place.
It is about clearly establishing a need or problem for the group. So everyone goes to the meeting prepared and with good suggestions in mind.
Understand what was requested by the customer
A key feature in the care professional is the ability to search, search and search. And if there is a time when this skill should be put into practice is after the customer briefing is set .
This is because, before scheduling the meeting, it is crucial to take time to analyze and understand what has been requested. So do not skimp on research work.
Share what you found with the rest of the group
One of the factors that contribute to the group being aligned at the time of the meeting is being aware of all the analysis made by the care professional. In this case, it is recommended that all participants have access to the material shortly before the meeting or even during the process.
What to do after the brainstorming meeting?
After the meeting, it is time to document and organize the suggested ideas. Make a critical analysis, considering what are the advantages and disadvantages of each. This part of the work can be done between managers or in conjunction with the team.
It is during this step that the scope of the solution begins to be drawn. For added security, we recommend answering the following questions:
- will the problem really be solved with this scope?
- Will the persona be interested in joining the solution that was developed?
- Considering the investment that will be made, are you confident that you will get a good return?
If the answers are positive, you can proceed with implementing the idea.
What are the benefits of brainstorming for the agency?
Brainstorming is vital for a communications agency , as this business constantly needs new ideas to present creative solutions to its clients.
Brainstorming methods bring a number of benefits to the company, such as increased interaction between employees, greater exposure of ideas and stimulation of creativity, quick problem solving due to the fact that different people present different solutions to the same problem. improve communication , as professionals are comfortable exchanging ideas.