When brainstorming works, it feels amazing. After an hour or so your group has imagined wonderful new things that didn’t exist yesterday. But there are a few tricks to getting it right. Here’s a simple guide we use to plan and get the most out of brainstorming.
We use Milanote (Editor's note: the author is the co-founder) for brainstorming, but these steps work just as well with other apps or a pile of sticky notes and pens.
Prepare — a day or two beforehand
Create a brief. Include an explanation of one problem and it’s history. The more specific and focused you are, the better the results will be. Don’t try to cover too much in a session, focus on a specific area. E.g. How can we drive more people to our website?
Invite the right people. A good mix of people with different experience will bring different perspectives. These don’t have to be the people who will execute on the ideas. Aim for 3–5 people max. This ensures there’s just one conversation at a time and people won’t end up talking over one another. Send them the brief so they have time to mentally prepare.