Setting the ground rules for running a team brainstorming session

“The best way to get good ideas is to get lots of ideas and throw the bad ones away.” – Linus Pauling


In my opinion, one of the most important things to get right when running your workshop is to set the ground rules. Our team found that following these simple rules really helped make our brainstorming sessions a success – maybe it will help you too:

  1. No idea is a bad idea. A brainstorming session is a creative exercise.  Innovation comes from the deep well of the human subconscious, and the only way to harness this amazing resource is to let everything pour out!
  2. Switch off the judgemental mind.  Criticism shuts down creativity. Creativity does not flourish in a judgemental atmosphere. The logical, rational state of mind is too narrow to allow sparks of brilliance to emerge.
  3. Use each other’s ideas. By having an outpouring of ideas from everyone, incredible combinations or developments of these ideas can be found.  Here we see the power of the collective group coming to the fore in a way which would be impossible on an individual basis.
  4. Reflect on the journey you all took together. It is fascinating to look back at the end of the session on how all the original thoughts came together to come up with something unique and brilliant.  The power of the subconscious!

So the next time you’re kicking off a brainstorming session with your team, make it clear what you want to achieve, and share these rules with them too.

2 thoughts on “Setting the ground rules for running a team brainstorming session

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