If you need to come up with a creative new idea, or figure out a plan for a future campaign, a productive brainstorming meeting is the way to go.
However, these sessions don’t always turn out to be efficient, and tend to leave participants bored, off track and generally annoyed.
The truth is that it is up to the manager to set the mood for the meeting, and uphold the level of professionalism and creativity necessary for a successful outcome.
Check out these three tips for a successful brainstorming meeting.
Promote Energy – In order to have eager team members truly wracking their brains for the best idea, you need to make sure they have the energy to do so. First, plan a good time for the meeting; don’t set it up in the early morning, when individuals are still trying to wake up and start the day; nor in the late afternoon, when they are tired and want to go home. Pick a late morning time, right before lunch; or, better yet, cater lunch and think while you eat. A great strategy is to provide your staff with coffee, caffeinated tea, as well as healthy snacks, such as fruit, which will rev up their thinking engines.
Plan Ahead – One of the poorest strategies is to conduct a spontaneous brainstorming session. Perhaps some people are great at coming up with ideas on the fly, but others need time to research and ponder. Many people have specific places or rituals as to how they come up with ideas; some like to sleep on it, while others like to think in the shower. Make sure to give proper notice, at least a few days, before any brainstorming meeting, and provide as many details as possible so you can dive right into the thinking and discussing process when the meeting commences.
Offer Rewards – Most supervisors are aware that a good reward is able to encite their employees to work harder and more efficiently. When it comes to brainstorming, you can make your staff attend the meeting, but you can’t make them think and contribute their ideas. This is where rewards come into play; if you offer incentives, you will likely get much better rewards. Offer a gift card to a local store or pub for the idea that is picked, or simply treat your entire team to a night out if the brainstorming meeting is a success, not singling anyone out, and recognising team effort.
A brainstorming meeting can be instrumental in conjuring up creative ideas, but it must be carried out correctly in order to be productive. Follow the three tips above to hold the perfect meeting.
Before I sign off, here is another article about promoting creativity
Head of Training and Development
Originally published: 9 September, 2015