There are different methods for hosting a successful brainstorming session. We will summarise and clarify a few of them below. Would you like more information about the best brainstorming method for your session? Would you like to exchange thoughts on the method that best matches your objective? Feel free to contact us, we will be happy to give you our input!
In situations where brainstorming is not a good option due to too many participants or because it seems to be impossible to get everyone together in the same room, you can use brainwriting instead. Simply define the problem to be solved or the question to be answered. All participants can then send in their ideas, questions and comments. All of that will then be added to the base document. With the help of a routing mechanism, the different participants then write their opinion of a certain item, or provide constructive feedback on previous writings
Hybrid brainstorming is the best of both worlds. It leverages the advantages of digital brainstorming on the one hand and the group dynamic of traditional brainstorming on the other. This is now possible with the Spilter Group Decision Room in conjunction with the Spilter app. See above to find out how a hybrid brainstorming session with Spilter works.
Brown Paper session
This is the large sheet of paper on the wall that shows what actions we will take, who plays which role (also outside the team), what obstacles still stand in the way, and what objectives must be achieved. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the Brown Paper session.
This is particularly useful for ranking processes or procedures. Participants first write everything down on sticky notes and attach them to the paper, then they move the sticky notes around and add to them. This process of re-arranging them and adding improvements increasingly gains more structure. It not only improves workflow, it is also an excellent tool for gaining acceptance of the new procedure.
Six Thinking Hats method
Each participant in the session is given a (virtual) coloured hat. The person with the black hat will play the devil’s advocate, while the one with the yellow hat sees everything in a positive light. The person with the white hat only provides facts and information. The one with the red hat responds from an emotional perspective, the person with the green hat provides creative input. And finally, the one with the blue hat monitors the process. Everyone is assigned a role so that all perspectives can be included in the discussion.
The client becomes the contractor, the contractor the supplier, the supplier is the project manager and the project manager is the customer. By walking in someone else’s shoes, participants gain a broader perspective of the challenge, thus enabling them to better understand someone else’s role. It’s a rewarding experience.
Try describing a situation as if it were a fairy tale; draw a picture or a cartoon of the situation. How would Willem Bever solve the problem? Thinking metaphorically opens up opportunities to word things differently, which gives you and others deeper insight.
SIT is a controlled brainstorming process whereby participants continuously formulate and validate hypotheses. It’s a smart, methodical and highly effective approach to completely overhauling products and (production) processes. Read more about SIT.
Avoid the usual obstacles by presenting participants a certain scenario. What will we do if our market position improves by 300% because our two biggest competitors drop out? How do we rebuild the company after a devastating fire has destroyed everything? By choosing a scenario that fits your situation, the results are enlightening and can be a reason to take action.
People are forced to come up with ideas via a certain object, person or method. This pressure prevents them from thinking about things in the same way as usual, thus opening up opportunities for fresh and new ideas.
This is a simple, but well-structured method for mapping out positive points, negative points and interesting topics. Simply write down the thoughts that occur to you for each of these three points and start working on them.
Pushing the boundaries
The idea is to eliminate or substantially push aside all limitations and restrictions. How would you do this if we had all the time or money in the world, if the customer is never satisfied, or if you can take advantage of cutting-edge technologies?
Imagine that we are living in the year 2030. What does the world look like? How is your company doing: what are you working on, do hierarchical relationships still exist, what do your raw materials and product lines look like? These are excellent questions for strategic planning and exploration.
Morphological analysis is a method to study a problem in great detail from all angles. A problem is broken down into smaller parts to see what discoveries can be made for each part. It is a simple method that always yields great results. This creative method is somewhat similar to the classic children’s game: head, body and legs.