Debunking the Brainstorming Myth

How do you feel about ‘brainstorming’? Ever used it? Ever tried it? What has your experience been?

Brainstorming really gets a mixed press – we have spoken to many business owners and businesses who have used this tool and found it to be of great value – others dismiss it as a waste of time that simply  becomes a ‘sideshow/ bit of fun’ and doesn’t tackle their real business challenges.

So why does this latter opinion get formed? A number of reasons:-

  • Having inappropriate attendees at the meeting
  • Poor facilitation (guidance) and leadership throughout the meeting
  • Impractical ideas thrown around that will not go anywhere....
  • Wrong approach from attendees to the meeting – fun, fun, fun
  • No action plan or accountability emanating from the meeting

So how can the above be resolved?

    1. Get people with real business know how attending the meeting. Many people who are rarely (if ever) asked to think creatively actually possess immense practical knowledge of the business and its market – what would happen if they exercised their mind on creativity and added this to their knowledge? Practical yet creative solutions!

    2. Remember that ‘know how’ doesn’t necessarily rest solely with the senior people – it’s amazing what you can access if you think about all of your people – don’t assess the possession of knowledge purely by position

    3. Nominate someone with the talents to steer the meeting – or get expert help – and assign them with the responsibility of following up/ tracking/ measuring progress – ‘what gets measured gets done’

    4. Point 1 refers – the more ‘know how’ involved in the meeting the more robust the analysis of the fresh ideas in terms of practicality

    5. Give the meeting a purpose – a goal – ‘at the end of this meeting we want three new, practical ideas to boost our Marketing for the next six months’   

    6. Write down the Action Plan and clearly define the responsibilities for delivering by individual

In summary our view on brainstorming is that it is a valuable tool but only effective when used in the right ‘toolbox’. It forms one third of our highly successful ‘Triangular Thinking’© programme that has successfully built many businesses when implemented by our clients.

If you would like to discuss Brainstorming or find out more about our ‘Triangular Thinking’© programme get in touch with us at call 0116 232 5231 and ask for me.

David Turner

Managing Director

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