Yes, brainstorming will. In fact, creative brainstorming techniques will give you quite a bit more. Here’s why.

Brainstorming rewards innovative thinking. Brainstorming is about problem solving in a group session, thinking outside the box and generating ideas - often new ideas. It's one of the all time great tools for organizations like yours to quickly energize your marketing, advertising, fundraising and / or customer service areas. So, use brainstorming when you want to:

  • Problem Solve
  • Generate New Ideas
  • Uncover a Competitive Advantage 
  • Break Away from what everyone else is doing
  • Enhance team and cross-functional communication
  • Discover new ways to promote products, services and ideas

Brainstorming is a great way for management to get together and have some fun as they focus on innovation and creative ideas - not operations or ROI (that's important but it is done later). It's also a great way to have a group feel a sense of ownership as they see the outcome of their brainstorming session turn into solutions.

After a brainstorming session is over, it’s then time to move into the next phase and build on the ideas that were generated. After the group brainstorming session, it's time to analyze and evaluate the ideas. This is when ideas are turned into solutions.

Where To Start

Start with a very clearly defined brainstorming objective – a focused statement that outlines your problem or need. And this is the first place where a brainstorming business can help you. The objective needs to be kept simple. What's the best way to establish your brainstorming objective? Ask your key stakeholders.

As a brainstorming facilitator I often start by interviewing a small sample of the key persons, I get insight into a situation beyond my perspective – or that of the organization that hired me. By doing this I often find the problem is larger – or smaller than expected. And, because I am arms length from the organization that hired me, I get the truth.

Only when you have your objective defined should you begin to hand pick the participants. A small group of 4 - 8 people is often ideal because they will relax and interact well. A large group will likely mean some voices will dominate while some good ideas will not get mentioned.

Within a small group, one person's ideas will be more likely to set off a chain reaction of creative thoughts by the other participants… thereby producing even more new and / or extended ideas.

Depending on your objective – consider inviting people from creative, marketing, product development, account services, finance, and sales – whoever might have impact. Doing a session with clients or prospects is also valuable. These groups will all want to be involved if they believe their contribution is valued.

The key is to select people who are imaginative and who will stay positive and focus on generating ideas.

Brainstorming places a significant burden on the facilitator to manage the process, people's involvement and sensitivities. The facilitator has to encourage everyone to participate – to their comfort level of course - without restrictions or excuses that an idea ‘can’t be done’. They have to keep the session flowing.

As the ideas are generated a trained facilitator dismisses nothing, doesn't make excuses for 'the way things are now', and most importantly keeps the energy of the brainstorming session at a high-level and spontaneous.

Hire a facilitator that is free from favoritism to the topic(s) and the audience(s) you will be interviewing. For this reason – it’s always a good idea to employ a facilitator from outside your company.

What To Do When The Session Is Over?

Once the brainstorming sessions are over you need a longer, more serious meeting to evaluate, qualify and judge the ideas generated. It's at this point that ideas can be prioritized. Some ideas might need to be set aside for future consideration. This phase is the beginning of where raw ideas will be forged into new marketing strategies and / or new product development initiatives.

It's similar to the sales funnel we are all used to. There are lots of ideas going in and being evaluated, but only a few really 'hot leads' (solution(s)) flowing out the bottom.

The brainstorming process at a glance

  1. Pre-interview key persons to identify the real problem
  2. Define and agree upon an objective
  3. Create the question (s)
  4. Choose your group (s)
  5. Prepare the right venue
  6. Brainstorm ideas and suggestions
  7. Categorize and combine the ideas
  8. Assess and analyze the ideas
  9. Prioritize the ideas
  10. Agree upon the course of action and timetable
  11. Measure and follow-up

In a nutshell, brainstorming will help you generate lots of new, even crazy ideas. When people see that their efforts are being listed to – and subsequently turn into action and change, they will be motivated and keen to help again.

Where would a new, innovative idea help you? 

We work to build long-term, collaborative relationships that maximize your overall success and earnings.

Want to learn more about our brainstorming services?

If you want to learn more about how you and your organization can benefit from our services, call us at 416.617.0462.

We work to build long-term, collaborative relationships that maximize your overall success and earnings.


Copyright © 2015 by Bruce Mayhew.


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