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Brainstorming is an Ideation method where a group of people will attempt to generate new ideas and different solutions to a given problem or context by removing inhibitions and suspending critical judgement about their quality or adequacy.

 

The process  starts with the goal of creating  as many ideas as possible, and to explore different and unexpected ideas and solutions (the divergent stage) and following that, the group can then evaluate, select and refine some of for further analysis and development.

Preparation

Group Size

4-8 People

Brainstorming is fuelled by ideas that ignite and suggest new and different approaches. You can always run a brainstorming sessions with smaller groups, (and even individually if needs be) but a group of 4 is usually a good minimum to start with. This allows the group to get continuous sense of flow and idea generation, without taxing individual members too much.

 

Duration

30 - 60min.

Time also plays an important role in this exercise. Its important to take time to run a quick loosen-up exercise to get the creative juices flowing, and to spark focus onto the exercise. Run the higher intensity divergent / idea generation stage for up to 30min, and then follow up with a short break to organize ideas and make sure everyone feels like something

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Survey results showing the state of digital teams and programs in nonprofits

 

Moderation

 

As the moderator for the session, you should take time to prepare to guide your team about on process, rules, and the different stages of the session. One of the key elements is make your team feel like is safe and okay to come up with strange, and sometime wild ideas, so keep things lightheaded and fun. As the moderator your role will also be around making sure that all the output is considered, recorded and saved for further iterations.

 

“The goal is not a perfect idea, its lots of ideas.”

 

When and what to use Brainstorming for:

  • Produce a large number of ideas
  • Generate ideas quickly
  • Get people unstuck
  • Inject insights from a broader group
  • Build enthusiasm
  • Solve tricky problems
  • Improve team collaboration

7 Rules of Brainstorming

Defer judgement

Creative spaces don’t judge. They let the ideas flow,so people can build from one another’s great ideas.


Encourage wild ideas

Embrace the most out-of-the-box notions. There’s often not a whole lot of difference between outrageous and brilliant.


Build on the ideas of others

Try to use “and” instead of “but.” It encourages positivity and inclusivity and leads to tons of ideas.


Stay focused on the topic

Try to keep the discussion on target. Divergence is good, but you still need to keep your eyes on the prize.


One conversation at a time

This can be difficult, especially with lots of creative peoplein a single room, but always think about the challenge topicand how to stay on track.


Be visual

Use colored markers and Post-its. Stick your ideas on the wall, so others can visualize them. (Miro is also great for that)


Go for quantity

Crank your ideas out quickly. For any 60-minute session, you should try to generate 100 ideas.

Sample Agenda

  1. Intro and quick overview of Rules and goals for the session
    5 min.
  2. Intro and quick overview of Rules and goals for the session
    5 min.
    Problem Statement Template
    pdf
    9 Feb, 2022

Where next?

  • After you generate lots of different ideas, try to groups them with affinity mapping to get a sense of any underlying themes that might be running trough the team.
  • Run a poll to vote on the ideas people enjoy best.
  • Use a 2x2 Matrix️ to evaluate and prioritise IDEAS
  • Prototype some of the best candidates so you can quickly get real world insights on how people react and feel about your ideas.

Who to talk to about this workshop?

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Carlos Sousa
Product Designer Nagarro
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Carlos Sousa
Product Designer Nagarro
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