Brainstorming is one of the most commonly used methods of business innovation. But if you’ve ever tried to get a lively brainstorming session going with a reluctant group of people, you know how agonizing it can be.
Maybe the employees you’re trying to work with lack confidence about their ideas. Maybe they’re generally shy. Maybe one or two people dominate the group and eventually, other people stop bothering to contribute. Whatever the reason that your traditional brainstorming session is stalled, the following alternative brainstorming techniques can help encourage contributions from everyone involved.
1. Post-It notes
This can be a good technique to warm up a shy group or get people on a roll, and maybe even make the group comfortable enough to go to traditional brainstorming. Start with a large wall surface such as a whiteboard or a couple of flip-chart pages taped up next to each other. Distribute large Post-It notes and felt-tip pens to the group.
Once you’ve defined the problem you’re brainstorming about, have everyone silently write down as many ideas as they can think of, limiting it to one idea on each Post-It. Then post the ideas on the wall. Depending on the shyness level in the room, you may want to gather and post the notes yourself, or have each person post their ideas and read them aloud. As ideas get posted, they will likely generate more ideas. People can keep writing and creating Post-Its during the posting process. What’s nice about this idea is the Post-It format lets you mix and recombine ideas as you discuss them.
By: Anita Campbell- Founder, Small Business Trends