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Effective Brainstorming Session

How to run an effective Brainstorming session

Brainstorming is a stimulating technique which can add to CPD training courses and can quickly explore the volume of ideas, opinions and possible solutions surrounding a given challenge. Brainstorming is useful to initiate fast thinking and is effective in identifying solutions when used in the right manner. We have shared some helpful insights below into running an effective brainstorming session.

Running a Brainstorming session…

Firstly, explain the goal of the session and the what and the why. Next, introduce the procedure and any guidelines for the session. Explain that the process of brainstorming is designed to generate as many ideas as possible, and not to evaluate their quality. Outline any time limits, so the group knows how long they have to brainstorm. If at some point the group stops generating new ideas, move them along by adding your recommendations or comments.

At the end of the brainstorming session, distribute the main ideas and concluding solutions with the participants for review and reflection

Quick Tips for Brainstorming

All ideas should be noted down in the same form of words as by the contributor. Once the brainstorming has ended, articulate the ideas in more structured statements.

The Rules of Brainstorming
  • Do not pass judgement
  • Do not suggest ideas that will never work
  • Be a good listener and inspire others
  • Recognise everyone as equal and encourage collaboration

Does Brainstorming really work?

The success of brainstorming depends on two main principles. Firstly, that groups work better together than individuals alone, and secondly, that ideas generation should be undertaken in an informal and unconstrained manner. In order to be successful, brainstorming must:-

  • Encourage ideas with an emphasis on quantity and less so on quality
  • Withhold any judgement of poor ideas, and accept during the session without further critique
  • Build on the foundations of group equality and the collective development of ideas

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