Tips for effective team brainstorming

How to make a successful brainstorming?

Brainstorming with your team can unearth all sorts of innovative ideas, but unfortunately not always. There are many different factors involved, not to mention a few pitfalls along the way, such as lack of proper structure. Here is a list of the most common mistakes made during brainstorms, as well as solutions to stimulate creativity. Success guaranteed!

First of all, it is very important to point out the rules to the participants when the brainstorming session kicks off.

“In any group, there will always be someone who immediately casts doubt on others’ ideas, or even dismisses them,” explains Vincent De Coninck, Idea & Innovation Management graduate and ex-intern at Bold & pepper.

“During the idea generation phase, right at start of the meeting, there are no good or bad ideas yet. At that point in the proceedings, every idea has equal merit and can be linked to other ideas. Quantity is more important than quality at that stage.”


Common mistakes…

  1. My idea is the best one

  2. Immediately judging/condemning other ideas

  3. Committing too quickly to one particular idea
  4. Allowing insufficient time for brainstorming
  5. Lacking structure during a brainstorming session


…and how to avoid them

  1. Be open to other ideas
  2. Defer judgement and build on other ideas
  3. Generate as many ideas as possible, avoid sticking rigidly to just one idea
  4. Set aside enough time for a brainstorming session: at least two hours
  5. Adopt a structured approach: use energisers (short warm-up activities), ask clear questions, organise the brainstorm into a divergence phase (generation of ideas) and a convergence phase (selection and grouping of ideas), and round off by pitching the best ideas


Extra tip!

Use a facilitator

Vincent De Coninck (Idea & Innovation Management graduate and ex-intern at Bold & pepper) has this advice to add: appoint a facilitator to manage the brainstorming session effectively. A good facilitator will ensure that there is an open, constructive atmosphere and will give each participant the chance to speak. He or she will also encourage the participants to think creatively.

Pascal Mageren, Editorial Project Manager
Pascal Mageren, Editorial Project Manager

Pascal Mageren

Editorial Project Manager