Brainstorming is essential. Whether you’re trying to decide on the name that you’re going to use for the company or you’re developing expansion ideas and marketing plans, without help from others, you’re going to struggle to find great solutions and answers. That’s why it’s important that you know how to make each brainstorming session effective–without taking up too much time.
Draft a Summary
When you start planning your meeting, what do you do? You might write down a few little bullet points or maybe you even write out a list of things that you want to discuss. But then you get into the meeting and things get jumbled. You might not get to everything on the list or other people may not be prepared for your questions, so your meeting ends up not only out of hand, but not accomplishing the things that you really wanted to get done. That’s why you need to write a summary of your meeting plans and distribute it to your team ahead of time. Most importantly, include clear goals in your summary—what exactly are you going to accomplish when you bring your “team” together.
Consider All Ideas
While you’re in the meeting, it’s important to take a whole bunch of notes from everyone. No matter what someone says, you want to make sure that you are paying attention and writing it down. There are going to be amazing ideas and not so great ideas, but just because you’re not a fan of an idea now doesn’t mean that you’re not going to find something great about it later on—or that it’s not going to come back to spur an important aspect of the final solution or plan.
By considering each idea, you keep people positive and engaged. You move on to new ideas, and you use ideas that may not be great to inspire excellent ideas.
How many times have you initially reacted negatively to an idea, but realized it was actually a pretty great thought after sitting back and thinking about it.
Keep it Focused
In many groups it can be easy to get distracted or get sidetracked. You want to make sure that you and your team are sticking to the plan and the overall goals. By bringing everyone back to the overall topic, you’re definitely going to keep your meetings shorter and a whole lot more effective.
Consider it your job to guide the conversation and keep it moving at all times. When you stick with the goals and plans you created at the beginning (and even before the meeting started), you’re definitely going to accomplish a whole lot more in a much shorter amount of time.
A short brainstorming meeting can absolutely be effective and efficient, it’s just about making sure you know what you’re doing right from the start.
If your meeting is about Digital Marketing Strategy, you might also want to read this article before you enter the meeting room, Sun Tzu and the art of digital marketing strategy.