One of the biggest misconceptions about creativity is that it can’t be constrained – that creativity must go wherever it wants.
That sounds good, but it’s not necessarily true, especially when your goal is to produce something of practical value. If you are launching a new product or solution – with corresponding microsite , brochures, presentations , emails , etc. – remember that structure can actually help ideas flourish.
If you’re a project manager running a brainstorming session, here are a few ways to make the best ideas see the light of day.
1. Split up time
Try not to schedule gruelling, three-hour meetings with a “no one’s leaving until we hash this out” mentality. People will run out of steam and your team’s ideas may stray too far, or just stop.
Try scheduling three shorter meetings instead. Thirty minutes, if run well, is a good length.
2. Help people generate great ideas
It’s easy to tell when you’ve run a great brainstorming session. If the table is messy, if people are exhilarated and if the walls are filled with ideas, you’ve done your job well. Here are a few things you can do to help make this happen:
3. Invite people from outside the creative team
If you’re looking for a truly big idea, invite people from different teams and departments. Think about bringing in someone from production, sales, research or IT. Outsiders bring fresh perspectives, so they may provide that “something different” you’re looking for.