Creative Brainstorming Ideas
By Practice Growth February 21, 2020
Brainstorming has plenty of benefits; it’s obviously an excellent way to produce new ideas, but it also helps team members feel more appreciated, promotes team bonding, and builds self-esteem. Flow charts and word maps, though, are a little old-fashioned and uninspiring. Here are some effective, engaging brainstorming techniques to take your staff meetings to the next level:
Depending on the size of your team, you may have one or more of your team members wear a particular hat. The hats can be imaginary, but you should have a method for keeping track of the role each team member is playing.
Split your team members into different roles:
Blue Hat - Logic and facts. This team member looks at each new idea from a logical perspective.
Yellow Hat - Values and benefits. This team member is the optimist.
Black Hat - The Devil’s advocate. This team member is the bearer of bad news. They’ll present a list of everything that could possibly go wrong.
Red Hat - Feelings and intuitions. Emotions govern this team member's perspective.
Green Hat - New ideas. This team member will look at the proposed idea and present possible alternatives.
Purple Hat - The Warden. This team member will keep everyone else in-line and ensure all rules are followed.
S.W.O.T. is a proven brainstorming technique. You’ll need a
whiteboard or presentation screen. Write each new idea at the top. Below that, list the:
S.C.A.M.P.E.R. is a technique where ideas are improved upon by testing and assessing them from different perspectives. For each letter of the mnemonic, ask your team a question:
Substitute: What would happen if we substituted (idea or technique A) for (idea or technique B)?
Combine: What would happen if we combined (idea or technique A) and (idea or technique B)?
Adapt: What changes would we need to make to adapt the proposed idea or technique to suit our practice?
Modify: What could we modify to make the idea or technique work better?
Put to another use: Would the proposed idea or technique benefit us in other areas? (Patient satisfaction, employee satisfaction, wait times, etc.)
Eliminate: What could we eliminate to make adopting the proposed idea or technique simpler?
Reorganize: How could we reorganize the overall project to make the proposed idea or technique more effective?
The key to a successful brainstorming session isn’t always caffeine; the key to creative breakthroughs could be more stimulation and a fresh, innovative approach. Try all the techniques outlined above - you don’t need to stick with just one technique. If your staff meetings are still somewhat drab, remember, few things inspire a team more than food or a field trip. Consider a change of scenery, and bring snacks.