How to Create the Perfect (Brain)storm

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According to Wikipedia, a perfect storm is “an expression that describes an event where a rare combination of circumstances will aggravate a situation drastically”. Then, there’s the perfect (brain)storm. It is an event where a rare combination of ideas will develop a path or solution for an opportunity to solve for a problem or create new charters.

How exactly would you create this perfect (brain)storm, you ask? Well, the options are endless, but here are a couple of ideas to introduce this concept in your next meeting.

Creating the Perfect (Brain)storm:

  1. In-Person: Carve out 10-20 minutes for brainstorming. Hand out a piece of paper and writing utensil for each person. During the brainstorm session, clearly explain your goal and invite everyone to write their ideas on paper. One rule: There is no wrong idea.After 10 minutes, have everyone share their ideas with the group and prioritize as needed.For example, our goal for 30 Days of Meetings is to share actionable blog posts on “how to get the most out of your meetings”. To do so, we had to brainstorm blog post ideas. In our team meeting, we carved out 10 minutes for everyone to jot down blog post ideas on their own, in a collaborative environment (we used Google Docs). That was our perfect (brain)storm.
  2. Offline: The concept remains the same, except the participants would be invited to the brainstorm via email or other communication sources. Assign a location for where the ideas to be submitted, along with a deadline for completion.

Integrating a brainstorm session to your next meeting agenda can help create an inclusive list of ideas for your project (or problem). Similar to having an editor review a publication, brainstorm sessions can also serve as a second pair of eyes to ensure no idea is overlooked.

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