Brainstorming is a creative concept popularized by Alex Osborn in the 1950s. Many corporations have credited their product or service to brainstorming throughout the years. So, what is brainstorming? According to Wikipedia, brainstorming is when a group convenes to generate new ideas and solutions to the specific domain of interest. Participants are allowed to express their thoughts without being challenged freely. As a small business owner, you are responsible for cultivating a creative climate where participants (employees or guests) can think more freely and suggest as many spontaneous new ideas as possible.
Based on the illustration, brainstorming sets the tone where ideas generate, creativity flows, progress is made, and ultimately, a successful business is on the horizon.
Consultant Proficiency Resources (CPR) LLC recommends the following for small businesses:
2-invite other entrepreneurs to participate in your brainstorming session
3-ensure the group is from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds
4-create an environment where business leaders feel welcome, whether virtual or on-site
5-set the theme for each session. Are you meeting to resolve an issue or expand on a product/service or other? Knowing this in advance is helpful.
Before convening your first meeting, CPR LLC recommends clearly outlining the problem at hand and sharing it with internal team members. Identify a few objectives for this exercise. That is, what you hope to obtain at the end. This makes it more evident for participants who are new to your team or guests from other businesses. Afford your team time to brainstorm individually. This will allow participants to think independently without the pressure of the process. Repeat this process to your guests, then schedule your meeting.
Fostering a creative meeting environment is the role of the leader. Everyone sitting around the virtual round table should have a vested interest in the process. The meeting convenes with the steps needed to get to the brainstorming session. In the 21st century, the leader must state the rules of brainstorming, which there is none. In today's blog, we will explore at least three techniques: Silent brainstorming, Analytical brainstorming, and Hypothetical brainstorming. Let's explore.
A. Silent brainstorming
Silent brainstorming involves an individual or group that generates ideas and documents in writing or through another quiet medium. Examples of silent brainstorming include a-blind writing and b-Crawford slip writing.
B. Analytical brainstorming
Analytical brainstorming techniques consist of using evaluation and data and analysis for brainstorming in teams or individually. Most avoid analytical brainstorming techniques because it appears technical, but that is only a mere perception. Some examples of analytical brainstorming include a-SWOT analysis and b-mind-mapping-one of my favorite ways to generate ideas.
C. Hypothetical brainstorming
Hypothetical brainstorming asks "what if" questions, poses role-play scenarios, and focuses on creative problem-solving, sometimes in nontraditional ways. The following hypothetical techniques can support creative thinking and problem-solving: a-time travel and b-reverse the process.
In today's work environment, a small business leader must be competitive. One way to become more competitive is to brainstorm. For further explanation and more techniques, consider subscribing and becoming a CPR LLC's Patreon family member.