We all have those mornings… You wake up, the solution to the work-related problem is there, no effort required. Unfortunately, some of the best ideas don’t emerge on their own, and let’s be honest, life isn’t always that easy. And like a rough diamond, the good stuff might be there, but it’s going to take a bit of effort to make it shine.
Brainstorming is the best method for digging up those gems that WOW your clients and make your boss relieved to have you on their team. Here are four ways you can ensure you get the most from each of your brainstorming sessions:
1. Invite Your Client
We typically have our clients fly into our California offices. Between the nice weather, change of scenery and the opportunity to work in casual attire, it gives them a chance to relax. Having clients participate in the brainstorming means getting them to commit to several hours of rolling up their sleeves and working toward the best idea possible.
2. Play a Game
Brainstorming is all about developing group communication and creativity. The goal is to eliminate the “blocking” of ideas and find as many potential options as possible. Nothing leads to creative communication better than doing something fun like playing a game. I find that two specific games get the best results. The first is the “Ultimate Game,” which involves taking dozens of words that relate to the sphere of what your product might be, writing them on cards and sticking them on the left side of the wall. Then, you discuss these words with your client and pinpoint which ones elicit the strongest response. You move these words to the right then do it again, discuss this cloud of words and narrow it even further. After a few repetitions, you end up whittling it down to the few keywords that target the core message. After you’ve found that core message, you move the group to a different room or setting for another game we call “Ban the Bazookas.” This game involves taking experts from all levels of your client’s company (from senior to junior) and having them fire away with every idea that comes to mind. By the end, your goal is to have the room looking something like an artist’s sketchpad, with ideas scribbled all over the place.