Table of Contents
Generating ideas is not the easiest thing, especially it’s your job and you have to create something really authentic and profitable daily. Fortunately, if you work in a team, at least, you don’t have to do it alone.
One of the creative methods for problem-solving and generating ideas which is suitable for teams is, of course, brainstorming. With its help, you can find a maximum variety of solutions and choose the best one for realization.
Most likely, you know what brainstorming is, but have never thought that there are rules to make the process of generating ideas more efficient. Today we will discuss this topic and, as a bonus, will try to understand how to put okay ideas that didn’t pass the bar during brainstorming to good use.
The great advantage of brainstorming
The more people, the more ideas — this is obvious. Brainstorming is efficient because the team members have different backgrounds, experience, temperament, and preferences. This allows every one of them to generate diverse associations.
When we discuss an issue out loud, our associations push others to find their own associations. In other terms, our words give birth to ideas in other people’s minds and vice versa. That’s why it is important to think out loud while brainstorming, and NOT keep silent.
A team’s collective brain is much more creative than the sum of separate team member’s brains. That’s why even a small team has more chances of creating something great and extraordinary than a lonely marketer.
The great disadvantage (or not)
If you want to try brainstorming, you have to collect all your will to not interrupt your teammates and not reject any of their ideas as this breaks their confidence, motivation to participate, and, therefore, the flow of associations.
In other words, open-mindedness and patience are must-haves for good brainstorming results.
How does it work and what to start with
- Formulate the task for the team
- Generate as many ideas as possible
- Discuss the results, filter the ideas, improve the best idea(s)
- Before you start brainstorming, relax, throw routine problems out of your head and forget about criticism (self-criticism in particular).
Small talk (5-10 minutes) with teammates will help everyone to feel more comfortable. You can discuss films you watched on the weekend, the weather outside, or plans for the holiday.
- Choose a moderator for the brainstorming session, who will make notes on the discussion and ask leading questions.
- You can give balanced feedback on your team members’ ideas, but criticism is prohibited. Also, you can and should improve the ideas of others if you have what to suggest.Take as a rule that there are no bad ideas. If you think that some idea is not working, do not comment on it — the author most likely will understand without your help that the idea is not so good. Later… If they want to…
If you really feel that you need to comment on an idea, first, highlight its advantages and then suggest its improvement.
- Do not keep silent, speak out loud every idea that occurs to you. (Jokes are welcome!)
- Phones, laptops, etc. — all gadgets are prohibited.
- Make notes on everything you find interesting or having potential.
Although gadgets are prohibited at brainstorming sessions, we have nothing but to accept the reality that many companies work remotely nowadays. That’s why sometimes online brainstorming is the only option.
- Difficult to focus on the issue
- Difficult to delve into teammates’ associations
- The number of participants is not limited
- The participants can stay in comfortable conditions
- Everything can be recorded automatically
Preparation plays an important role in online brainstorming, especially for the moderator. As the concentration at online sessions is lower, there should be a framework and a list of questions for each issue discussed, otherwise the discussion will turn into chatter.
Bonus: the graveyard of ideas
If brainstorming has been successful, there should be a lot of ideas generated but left out at the stage of filtering and choosing the best idea/solution.
If we talk about affiliate marketing, let’s take brainstorming on new creatives as an example. The best solution should apply to the following requirements:
- This is something that can attract our target audience
- This is what can bypass the moderation
- Our skills and experience are enough to make this idea come true
Thus, if an idea does not apply to at least one of the requirements, it will be left out, but it does not mean that this idea will not work in some other conditions (another target audience, different moderation rules, etc.). That’s why the ideas which haven’t passed the filter should still be written down for some other occasion. It will help save time on generating ideas next time as you already have ideas you haven’t released yet.
You can collect such ideas in notes on your phone, or in a notebook, or even on the wall in sticker format (actually, anywhere you desire) and proudly call it “The Graveyard of Ideas”.
Now you know how to make your brainstorming much more efficient and bring your teamwork to a whole new level. Generate mad ideas, discuss them, and choose the best to implement in your work. Save the rest for later and perfect them as well!
If you want to reach new GEOs and audiences, maybe it is all waiting for you on Telegram? We’ve prepared some material about Telegram audiences. What are the messenger’s users like this year? How old they are, what they do, and what they are interested in!