Three top tips for creative brainstorming

There are so many benefits to brainstorming, and it can prove vital within a company looking to grow and develop successfully. Many people associate brainstorming with new product ideas or marketing and PR campaigns, but it can also be used for tasks including internal procedures and company structures.

Brainstorming can help improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills, both as a team and as an individual. It also encourages team building and a collaborative approach on projects, as creative brainstorming works to include different perspectives and ability to think outside of the box.

Here are our three top strategies to get the creativity flowing:

Coloured Hats (created by De Bono)

Helps the team to separate thinking into six clear functions and roles. Each thinking role is identified with a coloured hat that is symbolic for a specific role. This strategy helps each team member to easily focus and be mindfully involved.

White hat – responsible for the facts and figures

Red hat – responsible for emotions. The wearer of the hat will express emotions and feelings, and can share fears, likes, dislikes, loves and hates.

Black hat – responsible for critical judgement. Consider yourself the devil’s advocate and spot the difficulties or where it might go wrong

Yellow hat – responsible for the positivity and optimism. You will explore the positives and look for the value and benefits.

Green hat – responsible for alternative options. Focusing on creativity, you will explore alternate options and ideas, it is an opportunity to express new concepts and perceptions.

Blue hat – used to manage the thinking process and is the control mechanism that ensures the six thinking hat guidelines are observed.

Inside Out Workshops (created by Mark Adams)

The group should consist of x2 people from your client’s company, x2 people from your own company and x2 outsiders (this could be your office manager or receptionist for example). Together you will spend 15 minutes discussing each topic:

1.What is currently the best example in the field? (competitor analysis)

2.What is the client or product we are trying to promote like?

3.What is the delta (gap) between our product or the one(s) we have identified as being the best in the field?

4.How do we close that gap?

This way of brainstorming invites the client to be open about all aspects of their products and involves them within the creative process itself.

Talking Walls

The moderator briefs group on a problem or topic. Each person then thinks individually and writes on idea on a sheet of flipchart paper, which are then stuck up on to the wall.

Group members walk around and add ideas or comments to each sheet. Each idea is then discussed at the end.

This way of brainstorming is particularly good for encouraging quieter people to contribute.

“Capital isn't that important in business. Experience isn't that important. You can get both of these things. What is important, is ideas." - Harvey Firestone

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