Today to deliver a project, we often need to work in interdisciplinary teams, where everybody needs to provide input from their perspective to ensure the best outcome. However, too often these meetings aren’t as productive as we would like them to be. We all try to contribute and share ideas, but somehow what started out as a fruitful discussion sometimes turns into havoc, and after a 2-3 hour meeting everyone is feeling like they haven’t really moved forward, and that the discussion is a waste of time.
If you too have had such experience, and would like to change this – have a look at our list of 5 tips of how you can take your brainstorming meetings to the next level:
Tip #1: Moderator
To make sure you stay on course of what you have to do, and that your list of topics is thoroughly covered during the meeting, and here comes the tricky part – within the assigned time, you absolutely need to have somebody who will keep their hand on the pulse of the meeting. A moderator plays a key role in making sure the meeting stays productive, and it’s best if it is a well organised and assertive person, who in the heat of the discussion will be able to lead the meeting the right way.
Tip #2: Know Your Goals
Absolutely. If you are responsible for holding the meeting and for its outcome, make sure it is crystal clear to everyone what is on the agenda and what you expect to have accomplished after the brainstorming session is over. It might be a good idea to write down the goals on a whiteboard or project them for everyone to see. A visible list of your “to-dos” will be very helpful in eliminating any digressions or distractions that are not connected with the purpose of why you are here.
Tip #3: Share ideas, illustrate, explain
It’s really helpful if you can use tools – starting from a simple pen and paper, whiteboard, up to solutions designed specifically to make collaboration in meeting rooms easier. For example, you can use your meeting room projector in combination with Vivitek’s NovoConnect solution. NovoConnect is a a system for wireless presentation and collaboration. Beyond easy wireless connection to the projector, this NovoConnect solution has one great advantage – the presenter can wirelessly interact and share digital content with attendees — and vice versa — via their PCs, tablets or other portable devices, making it a modern, smart-meeting environment. It’s important to make communication easier, to share ideas and inspirations, which can fuel brainstorming sessions and make a difference in the quality of ideas.
Tip #4: Take notes, make conclusions
You should definitely do this if you want to capture the gist of the ideas. You can also send a memo after the meeting to all participants, with the most important points, but also ask for their input – perhaps someone can add to your notes an important observation.
Tip #5: Be open!
Having said all that, don’t forget to encourage openness which is essential for an idea hunt. If you need a creative solution, you can throw in a few key facts or even just words – and see where a free and spontaneous game of making association and sharing inspirations that come to your mind may lead you to. After all – that’s what brainstorming is all about!