Having regular brainstorming sessions with your colleagues, employees and management team can be a great way to identify strengths and weaknesses; problems and opportunities. Unfortunately, within many businesses these kinds of meetings are often inefficient and unproductive. Week after week we organize brainstorming sessions with our team members in conference rooms and cafeterias in order to come up with brilliant new ideas for developing the business. Managers dash in from another meeting, plan for the next one with senior management while they’re there, and dash off long before any flash of brilliance occurs. Employees simply view these as good breaks to get away from the grind of work and catch up on some day dreaming. In short, nothing useful comes out of them.
So how do we make these sessions effective and get everyone involved in the planning process?
Here are some tips:
- Schedule “thinking time” away from the desk for key personnel to do that day dreaming….about the business!
- Have key personnel share their topic for discussion 24 hours before the group meeting – this allows other personnel to begin pondering the concept.
- Whilst “free thinking” inspires the formulation of new ideas…. A completely unstructured brain storming session can be unproductive – a loose framework/agenda for brainstorming sessions will assist.