By Ross Tartell, Ph.D., Learning & Development Manager – North America, GE Capital Real Estate
You need new ideas. The pressure is on and the competition is tougher than ever. When the rate of external change exceeds the rate of internal change, it’s time to power up your brainstorming to generate creative ideas.
Traditional brainstorming has been around for decades. But new variations have developed on the old brainstorming theme. Here are three examples I have found useful. Try one of these approaches the next time ideas need to flow:
Brainwaving: Works well with a quiet or introverted group.
When people like to think for a few minutes, their ideas can get lost in a traditional brainstorming session, or their pace can slow the forward motion of the group. Brainwaving gives them a chance to contribute and keeps the entire group “on the same page.”
Affinity Diagram: Categorizes ideas by theme for further action.
The level of interaction and engagement in this technique helps build consensus and commitment. Use this with groups as large as 20 people.
Webinar Round Robin: Brings brainstorming into the Internet era.
Many meetings are now Web based. But how do you brainstorm in a Web-based environment? To use this technique, you’ll need meeting software with a “chat” function that will allow you to “cut and paste.”
An excellent reference on brainstorming is Brian Cole Miller’s book, “Quick Brainstorming Activities for Busy Managers.”
As the world becomes more complex and the rate of change accelerates, innovation and new ideas are the lifeblood of survival. Use these techniques to power up your brainstorming and charge up the creativity so critical to your future.
Ross Tartell, Ph.D., is Learning & Development Manager – North America for GE Capital Real Estate. He is also an adjunct associate professor of Psychology and Education at Columbia University. Dr. Tartell has expertise in the areas of learning and development, talent planning, and organizational development. He received his M.B.A. in Management and his Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Columbia University.