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Best Brainstorming Tips in a Flash

Don’t have time to read a long post on creating ideas? If so, here are my best brainstorming tips, quick-snap.

Let’s go!!

Get your …

… or to give them a head start on brainstorming, give them 1-2 paragraphs of background 24-hours in advance. It’ll save you a bit of time at the beginning.

For speed, you only need 2-3 people + a place to write your notes, like a flipchart, whiteboard or online collab board.

If you can, get out of the office …

… People will have better focus if they’re not surrounded but the busy-ness at their desk. It’s mentally distracting.

Stand up.

The human body works better on its feet.

Give everyone two minutes of what you know …

… about the purpose of the brainstorm + any background on client, decision maker or project.

… about the problem to address, eliminate, or minimise.

… about the end user, in particular, most important key insights about them (use : how they behave, not demographics)

Start with an icebreaker or game …

… you need to switch people from the . Nothing elaborate. Rip up magazines to create a quick . Try some suggestions on .

Write all ideas on flip chart paper or similar …

– but keep them public. Let others contribute as they wish, or whenever the idea strikes.

Get your first ideas out of the way. They’re crap, trust me.

Give everyone a marker. Write your ideas. Draw your ideas. Just get them out of your head.

After 15-20 minutes, see what you have …

… if you don’t have the Big Idea yet (don’t worry, it doesn’t come that easy) pick the 3-4 ideas you like best. Focus on those for another 5-10 minutes.

Nothing yet?

Choose the 2-3 ideas you like over the others. (How did you pick them? Be clear on your !) Circle them. Highlight them in a different colour. Say thanks to this group.

Repeat the process with another 2-3 people.

Either start anew or use the 2-3 preferred ideas from last brainstorm … and keep going until you have something usable to share with a decision maker or your overall team.

Some other idea if you have time.

Give people an easy bit of homework. Have them do or consider something overnight so they come with some ideas in the morning. (Unconscious thinking can be an incredible talent.)

Go online as you’re brainstorming. Use visuals, pictures – anything to stimulate your imagination. I love Google Images or Pinterest for this reason: easy to put in a search word and see what might prompt some ideas.

Have your brainstormers pretend to be the end user. Everyone makes a name/profile/personna for your end user, whoever they are. Brainstorm from the perspective of the persona, not as an employee.

Don’t forget to keep your supplies stocked. Not sure what to get? Click here for .

What other ways have you used to inspire fast inspiration to brainstorming?  Please add any thoughts or comments below.

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Best Brainstorming Tips in a Flash