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Promotional ideas and technique. Always radio, always positive.

10 ways to a better brainstorm

Brainstorms at INDEX: Views

What’s the best way to run a creative brainstorm? It’s the one question I get asked more than any other. The answer doesn’t fit neatly on a post-it.

Having led creative sessions with groups of between 2 and 200 it’s fair to say that few hard-and-fast dictats apply, but there are enough broad “rules” to be worth sharing.

So that’s what I’m planning to do over the next few weeks in a series of 10 posts.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers. If you have some good tips then throw them into the mix, and if we end up with more than 10 then that’s a bonus.

Why brainstorm?

Before we start, let’s get one thing straight: the purpose of a creative brainstorming session is not to come up with a brilliant idea.

It is instead to generate many, many ideas without worrying whether any of them are any good at all. Finding the good ones comes later.

And you don’t have to hold a brainstorm in order to generate ideas. There are plenty of other techniques for drawing ideas from brains including Edward DeBono’s famous ‘mind-mapping’ and his ‘six hats’ approach which is detailed and thorough but a bit of a palaver.

However, in my experience of leading creative teams over more than 10 years the collaborative brainstorm stands out as the fastest, most prolific and enjoyable idea factory.

Ideas come more easily between people than from individuals, especially when you employ a structured technique like brainstorming.

So we’ll start in earnest next time. Meanwhile I welcome your contributions in the comments below or on Twitter where I’m @smartin

Next time: be somewhere else.
Photo by Jacob Bøtter on Flickr. Used under cc licence.