We've all been there - invited to a strategy, kick off or brainstorming meeting, with a very loose agenda, and realised at the end of three hours of debate you are no closer to finding a solution... if anything you are more confused now than when you began.
I picked up these 12 tips to make brainstorming more effective via the HubSpot marketing blog, but in reality I can see them being used in strategy meetings, project kick offs, and even value engineering and risk management meetings within construction projects.
Two that stuck out for me were:
- Provide context and goals well before the meeting, and
- Ask people to come prepared with some ideas.
I think these are particularly important as they deal with one thing that can really slow a meeting down; bringing people 'up to speed'.
By cutting that initial briefing, and throwing the team straight into brainstorming, you can hopefully capture the enthusiasm of the team before the meeting slows and people's eyes drift towards their smart phone or the window.
This is a good read, and I'll definitely be applying some of the tips to my meetings going forward.
That's my first tip for you: Follow the "pizza rule" for brainstorming. If you're unfamiliar with the "pizza rule," it's the idea that if you have more people in a room than you could feed with a pizza, there are too many people in that room to hold a productive meeting. Same goes for a brainstorm session: If you've got a dozen people sitting around a table, expect a really long list of really mediocre ideas.