You’re Brainstorming Wrong: Get the Most Out of Your Online Sessions
Brainstorming is probably something you’ve done a lot of during lockdown, whether you’re working for a local digital marketing agency or an international agriculture conglomerate. Either way, you’re most likely doing it wrong, or at the very least, you’re not taking full advantage of it. Don’t worry, we’re here to help.
Brainstorming is, by definition, a group activity. If you brainstorm alone, it’s called “thinking”, and if you lead a meeting where you tell everyone about your wonderful ideas, but you don’t get input from the others, then you’re just thinking out loud (with an audience). Brainstorming is a collective effort to generate ideas and presents the opportunity to gain new perspectives on old problems (if done properly). Below are some tips to help you make the most of your virtual brainstorming sessions.
It’s All About Planning
Set a coherent agenda for your brainstorming session and make sure you stick to it. This may seem like an obvious point, but it can help prevent the meeting from descending into anarchy and contributing to the phenomenon of virtual fatigue (popularly known as Zoom fatigue). Your agenda must include a clear outline of what you expect from the session, who needs to participate (and why), and what needs to happen afterwards. It’s supposed to be a brainstorming session, not a logistics meeting! You can always organise another (separate) meeting for that.
It’s not called a brain drizzle. Make a point of getting everyone’s input and allow all attendants to contribute to the pool of ideas. The session’s moderator should make it clear that all ideas are welcome; don’t be afraid to get weird! Unless an idea is outright terrible (like socks and sandals, which too many people got comfortable with during lockdown), it can help turn a trickle of ideas into a torrent.
Do It Online
Use a staple app such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. They usually allow you to record sessions, making it easy to refer back to the meeting and supplement your notes. As everyone and their mother understands by now, working from home is also much more comfortable for employees than sitting in a stuffy office with barely adequate ventilation. Virtual setups thus tend to encourage employees to step out of their comfort zones and make more meaningful contributions than in a boardroom meeting where everyone is staring at them with blank expressions.
Still Not Sure?
It’s easy to forget that brainstorming is a group activity. It’s been a part of corporate culture as long as corporate culture itself (and perhaps even predates it), but it is oftentimes dismissed as a waste of time and resources. The advent of virtual meeting spaces like Microsoft Teams and Zoom has allowed brainstorming to become a more prominent fixture in the minds of CEOs and Team Leaders all over the world and has allowed them to see the value of group contributions.
… but don’t brainstorm your marketing. It’s much easier (and less of a headache) to let someone else do it for you. Let us at BANG POW worry about brainstorming your next social media campaign while you can simply sit back and enjoy the results of industry leaders putting their minds together for your company.