Our team has been crazy busy at SXSW, but we couldn't pass off the opportunity to pay tribute to Idea Month. So with this, we wanted to share some insight on brainstorming sessions -- because we all know that inspiration can be harder to come by than we expect.
1. Have a problem to fix
Before you walk into your session, understand the problem you're trying to fix. You have heard the saying "if it's not broken, why fix it?" It's hard to come up with an idea if there is no reason for it. Ideas are meant to solve problems, so knowing the problem before you walk into your brainstorming session gives your whole team direction.
2. Create an agenda
Having an agenda to follow is a great tool to ensure that everything gets covered and to keep your group on schedule.
3. Have a facilitator
If everyone is the facilitator, your session is going to go nowhere. Having a leader to keep everyone on track is the key to keeping your session flowing smoothly.
4. Use a white board or blank piece of paper
Having something to write on keeps the group in unison and all on the same page. Plus, you're going to get some brownie points from the visual people!
5. Have a designated note taker
Having a designated note taker keeps your session organized and gives your group something to refer to when executing those genius ideas.
6. Play an ice breaker game
Sometimes people just need to loosen up a bit. The best way to get them comfortable is by playing an ice breaker game before your session starts. This could be an improv game, a question game, a doodling contest. Or simply tell everyone to get up and strike their best power pose, anything to warm people up so they can start brainstorming!
Now that you have the brainstorming session down, some things to remember to ensure you're on the right path to inspiration:
Don't limit on how you're going to get there
Ideas can come from anything and anyone. Your next big idea might come from talking to one of your clients or it might come from a walk down the street. Don't limit your ideas only to your brainstorming sessions. How much more meaningful would your conversations be if everyone brought something to the table? Let the extreme out and then it's easier to pull out the key elements.
Ideas don't need to be new!
Nothing is new under the sun is a true statement and it's okay to embrace it. Once you accept this reality you're going to feel a lot better about stealing ideas -- or how I like to look at it, being inspired. Let's take fashion for example, skinny jeans, baggy jeans, skinny jeans, baggy jeans, an endless loop with reoccurring ideas.
Fresh, exciting and thoughtful
Here at New Moon Ideas, we believe in making sure ideas are fresh, exciting and thoughtful. When we say fresh we are talking about something we haven't seen in a while. A new way to solve a problem for that situation. Exciting, showing passion and bringing the "wow" factor that people will remember. Thoughtful, taking everything into consideration to make the most sense and leverage insight.
We would love to hear some tips you may have for allowing the ideas to flow!