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How do you organise an effective brainstorming session?

by Charlotte
How do you organise an effective brainstorming session?

Finding an original concept, a new product or a new direction for a company… Some important decisions require collective thinking and discussion to be taken effectively. But how can you bring multiple participants from different backgrounds together and inspire them? Glowbl gives you the keys to organising an effective brainstorming session.

1. Be a dynamic facilitator

Organising an effective brainstorming session depends firstly on the person who sets the pace for the meeting. To get the best out of all the participants, the facilitator has to be positive and enthusiastic. This energy inspires the dynamic of the group, especially at the beginning, when tongues might struggle to free themselves.

In fact, it is important for the facilitator to set out the guidelines and main theme at the beginning of the session. Including the most important point for everyone to understand – that there are no bad ideas, nothing is too far-out and they must not hesitate to set their imaginations loose, without limiting themselves, and make a proactive contribution. It is also up to the facilitator to restart the discussion if it falters, direct the prioritisation of ideas, lead votes on the best proposals etc.

Finally, the facilitator is in control of time. They must keep an eye on the clock, conducting the session’s thinking and discussion phases.

2. Bringing together multiple participants from different backgrounds

To organise an effective brainstorming session, the choice and number of participants are fundamental. Five to fifteen people are best for positive, relevant results. Above all, as far as possible, select a panel of participants from different backgrounds, with a mixture of genders and ages. For example, a corporate brainstorming meeting should ideally involve employees from different departments, creative people, experienced people and perhaps even external contributors (suppliers, customers etc.). It is possible to combine participants from different management levels, but only if everyone is comfortable enough with the idea.

3. Stimulating the participants’ creativity

As already mentioned, a positive, dynamic facilitator is one of the keys to a successful brainstorming session. More generally, the environment chosen for the meeting also has its role to play in bringing out ideas. The session should be organised in a quiet and, above all, inspiring location. A café, a room in a cultural venue, a garden – the space has to be welcoming and away from a solemn, professional working environment.

To help the brainstorming run smoothly, you can provide coloured post-it notes and felt-tips so that participants can write down all their ideas. Apart from the practical aspect, sticking the notes on the wall will create a colourful fresco, more attractive and stimulating than a conventional whiteboard. Finally, to maintain a friendly atmosphere, plan for a few drinks and nibbles.

How to organise online brainstorming

To overcome distance or overloaded schedules, it is possible to organise an online brainstorming session that is as successful as a physical meeting. Glowbl’s user-friendliness preserves the conviviality and closeness that are essential for finding good ideas together.

The Glowbl interface makes it easy to speak and to hand over to others, create separate discussion groups or react via chat. It is also possible to share different types of content – documents, photos, YouTube videos – which helps to add momentum to the brainstorming session and stimulate the participants’ creativity.

Read also: Online meetings: what are the advantages?