All of you know the key rule of brainstorming (no idea is a bad idea), but how can you stimulate even greater creativity during a brainstorming session? I learned a great technique from PeopleFit Australasia. Gather your team around a table, giving each of them some Post-it notes. Ask each member to briefly capture their ideas on the Post-it notes (as a reminder). As you go one by one, in order, around the table, each person quickly presents only one idea. As they listen it stimulates additional ideas in the other participants, which add new creative thoughts to their notes. The process continues around the table with each presenting only one of their ideas per round. The process repeats until each participant has presented all their ideas and shouts out “pass” to signify they have no new ideas to present. I use this technique every time for brainstorming and always have a great experience.

This process works because it incorporates natural aspects of human behavior. Most of us enjoy being creative thinkers. We also want to be heard without fear of criticism or being left out. Sometimes our competitive spirit tramples on others’ creative space. In this process everyone knows their idea will be heard with uninterrupted opportunities to present. They also use each other as creativity stimuli instead of as competitors. Everyone has equal opportunity to take part. You can even use the Post-it notes to capture each idea rather than rewriting it, but here are a couple watch-outs on using Post-its. 1. Not everyone has legible handwriting and some use cryptic phases. Add some of your own notes to the Post-it if needed, but be careful not to criticize or change the idea. 2. Post-it notes fall off and can get lost. If you want to use them again or take them to be typed into list for sorting into a Fish-bone diagram, it may be wise to use some scotch tape to hold the Post-its in place.

Be more creative while brainstorming.



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