October 24, 2016
Your brainstorm is stuck in a rut. So, you have a new business proposal and you need to develop some brilliant, creative concepts with which to wow the prospect in the pitch. You gather some people together in the office and throw around some ideas. But for some reason you keep coming back to the same tried and tested ideas – an infographic, a video, a piece of research.
Why? How do you get your brainstorm out of that rut? Get more creative with it! Here are some helpful tips I learnt at a recent training session held in the LEWIS London office, hosted by Jutta Deushl, a colleague from our Munich office.
We’re all guilty of it – thinking about new ideas often gets pushed further down the to-do list, as more urgent things take priority.
But, you can’t think more creatively if you’re worrying about what you need to do next, or the fact that the session is taking longer than half an hour. Invest in it – that’s when you’ll come up with your best ideas. Don’t be afraid to do it over two days.
Come up with some ideas on day one, then spend a bit of time developing them, so that everyone brings a different perspective on day two.
Make sure that everyone taking part in the session knows what those goals are to avoid going off track. They don’t need to be as structured as SMART goals, but you need to know what you’re looking for in the outcome. If you don’t go into a brainstorm with a good idea of what you expect to have achieved at the end, you’re going to be wasting time.
One of the best techniques used during our session was using lots of post-it notes to create smaller ideas, that could then be grouped into bigger ideas or campaigns. By seeing the number of post-it notes multiply, you know that you have an idea that is developing.
I know we’re often told to prioritise quality over quantity, but in terms of generating ideas, quantity often leads to quality.
The purpose of a brainstorm is to come up with as many different ideas as possible, and then to distil these into workable campaign ideas. The more ideas that people place on the table, the more fun and relaxed the participants feel – which usually creates the best ideas.
Ideas can later be selected, combined and deepened to create qualitative ideas. So there you go, next time you run a brainstorming session have a think about some of the tactics above. I can assure you, you will get much better ideas out of the participants if you approach the session in a slightly more creative way.