Brainstorming sessions can be more productive if participants do some independent work first.
In a group, this can be done simultaneously over minutes or even days, with team members writing down their ideas individually then sharing with the group later. This process, known as divergent thinking, can also be done virtually through collaborative websites like miro, mural and figma. Working individually ensures everyone will bring ideas and everyone's voice will be heard.
Next comes "convergent thinking." The group evaluates proposals to identify the best innovation or solution to the problem at hand. Building on someone else's idea is encouraged.
There are many other approaches to group brainstorming, such as "design thinking," in which quick brainstorming sessions lead to tangible prototypes. The "six thinking hats" method has group members focusing on each aspect of proposed idea at a time. For example, they will discuss negative aspects, then positive, feelings, risks, and possibilities for each solution.
While brainstorming may sometimes be an arduous process, it promotes the buy-in of ideas and team bonding. And it's important to remember that within a space where everyone feels free to express themselves, good ideas can come from anyone.
Sabrina Habib is an associate professor of visual communications at the University of South Carolina.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. You can find the original article here.