Via IABC Toronto: When we think about a brainstorming session, we often picture a group of people eating pizza and throwing out a flurry of ideas while scribbling on a whiteboard. In truth, brainstorming is a lot more scientific than that. After all, ideas are at the root of everything we do as communicators – they make the difference between a good campaign and one that wins awards. So how do you weed out the so-so ideas from the unique ones? Consider the well-researched power of creativity when seeking ways to better enhance your brainstorming sessions to ensure they generate the desired results.
“We all work with different thought centres and it’s important to tap into as many of those thought centres as possible when facilitating any sort of creativity session,” says Marilyn Barefoot, President of Barefoot Brainstorming and leading brainstorming expert to the world’s biggest brands. “Thought centres include verbal, visual, auditory, olfactory, kinesthetic, tactile, spatial and script.”
Here are Marilyn’s top five tips to generate brainstorming success:
- Physical Moment – This is hugely underestimated in most brainstorming sessions. It is critical that you get people “into action.” Let them search for something, do something active – just get people out of their chairs and moving. This taps into the kinesthetic thought centre.
- Music – Music will help stimulate creativity in a brainstorming session. Use it as often as you can. It also helps keep the energy high in the room! This taps into the auditory thought centre.
- Fresh Faces – Always invite new people to the session. Often the best and most original ideas come from people who can see the task from an unencumbered perspective. It doesn’t matter if they have never worked on the business before – in fact, it’s better if they haven’t.
- Fun = Success! – Bring along new toys. Children do most of their learning through playing with toys. When we become adults we often lose touch with that inner child who sees things as brand new. Fun is a critical element in the creative process. This taps into the tactile thought centre.
- All Ideas Have Value – You must ensure that everyone shares their thoughts with the rest of the group, no matter how “crazy” they might seem. There is a reason why things pop into your brain unexpectedly! Plus, it maintains the creative momentum of the group since other guests will “piggyback” on the idea. I disagree with people who say, “There is no such thing as a bad idea in a brainstorming session.” I would rather they say, “All ideas have value.”