You feel like you’ve hit a wall, your brain is blank and nothing comes to mind. Sound familiar? Creativity blocks can hit at any point without warning, and sometimes you may find issues with your business are going unsolved.
If you feel you and your team are in need of a renewal, brainstorming could be the go.
Using lateral thinking to solve problems, brainstorming can unlock and unpick the far reaches of your mind that seem to be locked shut! But there is more than one method to brainstorming, so below we have listed a few of the best for getting into the rhythm and sparking creativity when you’re feeling stuck.
One of the most popular and well-known brainstorming methods, you may recall getting out your coloured pens in primary school to create some bright and pretty mind maps.
By utilising a visual component, mind maps allow you to draw and connect the relationship between ideas. Alone or with your coworkers, mind maps are a useful option to get everything down on paper so you can visualise your thoughts.
Here are the mind map steps. First, write down your main idea, challenge or goal. Then come up with related issues and add them onto the map, with the lines connecting to how they correlate. You’ll be able to find mind mapping tools online, but the handy paper and pen never goes out of fashion for this technique.
The 5 Whys
Getting to the root of a problem is key to brainstorming ideas and methods, and the best way to dig deep is by asking the question, “Why?”.
Consider the topic you’re brainstorming. If it’s a problem you had with sales, then ask something along the lines of ‘Why did we miss our target?”. Then as you answer that question you continue along that path. Question each answer with a, “Why?”. This is repeated and eventually you’ll gain a clear understanding of what the problem is, and potentially how you can go about fixing it.
With a group, decide on the main problem and work on your whys from there. Some questions may take a few whys, some may take more than five. Go with the flow until you feel you have the answer.
Also known as slip writing, everyone is required to write down ideas, solutions, or any thoughts on a piece of paper depending on the topic. Remaining anonymous, all pieces of paper are then collected and then discussed.
As each idea is anonymous, no one in the team will feel any concern about being judged or backed up by fellow colleagues. It also eliminates the danger of eliminating thoughts without first comparing all ideas.
Collaborative brainwriting is another form you can use, with the team leader writing a question or problem on a large piece of paper or whiteboard. Over time, each team member will continually add their ideas during the week as they come up with them. Ideas are then collated and fleshed out.
Another group discussion technique, role-storming requires everyone to imagine themselves as your target audience.
If you’re putting yourself in the role of who relates to your goal, you’ll be viewing things from a different perspective that will give you some great ideas for areas such as blog writing or coming up with business initiatives.
If you’re feeling stuck, dried up of ideas, brainstorming is definitely the way to go, and as we’ve pointed out, there are multiple ways you can go about your brainstorming. Choose a method from above to spark business-changing ideas today!