Brainstorming is one of the simplest ways of encouraging the development of ideas or ‘ideation’ within an organisation. The term ideation has been adopted by business strategists wanting to stimulate the development of innovative organisations. Although it’s usually used in psychology and refers to the growth of suicidal thoughts, the thought journey of suicide – this is NOT business suicide!
If you want to stimulate ideation within an organisation, you will want to entrench the skill to think up ideas and make fresh connections. The problem for some managers is how to avoid a brain storm session from deteriorating into a storm in a teacup. Establish some rules and stick them up everywhere. Tom Kelly, author of ‘The Ten faces of Innovation’ says…
People often need to be coaxed into brainstorm mode and Kelley’s rules help to create a ‘safe’ space for the ideation process. Use the first session to achieve a potentially fun outcome – such as ‘what would the best staff social be’ or ‘how can we play a positive role in the lives of employees children’. Avoid a first session that focuses on an organisations problems ‘how do we deal with high absenteeism’ or ‘how do we develop better relationships between staff and management.’
Always remember that brainstorming contributes to stimulating innovation. It shows that you value the exploration of ideas and also develops great on the job problem solving skills.
- Innovation Throwdown (psychologytoday.com)
- Can group dynamics kill innovation? (theglobeandmail.com)