Make brainstorming an integral element of your every-day work routine


What is brainstorming?

Brainstorming is a method for generating ideas to solve a problem, which usually involves a group, under the direction of a facilitator. It is usually used during the beginning stages of a project and it provides a quick means for tapping the creativity of a limited number of people for a large number of ideas.

On one hand, productive brainstorming involves randomly tossing out ideas without restraint or editing. On the other hand, brainstorming is usually conducted with an objective in mind, such as coming up with ideas for an upcoming project. For a brainstorming session to be productive, participants must strike a balance between free association and disciplined focus.

How to prepare for an effective brainstorming session

A successful and effective brainstorming session requires some preliminary and organizational activities:

  1. Set your brainstorming goals and objectives, in other words try to lay out the problem you want to solve through the brainstorming session. Everything you do before, during, and after your brainstorming session should refer back to your goals.
  2. Try to generate solutions individually before going into a brainstorming session.
  3. Invite the appropriate participants, based on the goals, purpose and process of the brainstorming session you are designing and always thinking about the dynamics of the brainstorming process.
  4. Be clear on the input you are expecting from the participants. Provide a few days of lead time before your meeting and explicitly ask people to think of some ideas beforehand. With this approach, you might find that you start the meeting off with pretty strong ideas from the get-go, and the group can add to and modify them to make them even stronger.
  5. Choose the right space / room in your company’s offices. For more information and details on how to design a creative brainstorming space you can check out INNovaSouth recommendations here.
  6. Choose an experienced facilitator. Make sure that the meeting will be led by someone who is skilled at both stimulating ideas from the rest of the team while staying on track. Give that person all the information he/she needs to manage the group and lead the process toward the goals and plans you have in mind. If you plan to facilitate the session yourself, learn all you can about the process so that you’re able to encourage creativity for a positive, useful brainstorming session.

Necessary human resources

In brainstorming, everyone is equal. So, anyone within your company (you, managers, employees) can organize and, of course, participate in a brainstorming session.

Skills that managers & employees need to develop in order to implement the practice

Organizing and facilitating a brainstorming session involves a variety of skills, such as:

  • Communication skills
  • Empathy / emotional intelligence
  • Active listening skills
  • Teamworking skills

If you want to develop these skills among your managers and employees, you can have a look at INNovaSouth’s innovative online training course, available here.

Expected impact

Beyond the obvious positive effect on the company’s innovation processes and outcomes, brainstorming can also support better outcomes in other areas such as:

Collaboration: Research reported by Queens University of Charlotte (NC) notes that about 75% of employers rate collaboration and teamwork as “very important,” but that nearly 4 in 10 employees say that collaboration isn’t happening enough in their organizations. Brainstorming offers a constructive (and low cost) mechanism for fostering collaboration.

Team-building: Further, Salesforce reported that 97% of surveyed businesspeople and educators blame lack of alignment within teams for adversely affecting project results. When done correctly, brainstorming provides a framework that establishes common goals and encourages teams to work together, which creates a sense of synergy as members join forces to share and build on ideas.

Decision-making: Harvard Business Review noted that “involving others with the relevant knowledge, experience, and expertise [as opposed to considering issues in isolation] improves the quality of decisions”.

Example(s) of prior application

Company name: Amuse

Location: Athens, Greece
Number of employees: 25

How the WPI was implemented?

Amuse Concept Events is an experiential marketing agency with a clear focus on inspiring humans. They operate in the area of the South Eastern Europe and their main activity is the organization of all sort of events, corporate, commercial, social etc. Company’s goal is to make this world a better and more enjoyable place for people so they think, feel and care more. Brainstorming is one of the methods that the company uses for solving problems.

Benefits obtained

Brainstorms allow for the employees to freely propose ideas. One of the biggest advantages is the high amount of generated ideas.  Brainstorming sessions create a team atmosphere within the company.  Joint brainstorming improves the working atmosphere and motivates the staff of the company. Based on Great Place to Work® Hellas, Amuse is one of the Greek SMEs with the best workplace in 2019.



Other examples:
Odense Waste Management Company

How can I acquire a voucher for implementing workplace innovation practices? ​