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Brainstorming, how do you do that?

Brainstorming is usually done for two reasons: you are starting a new project and want to collect as many ideas as possible of you can't figure it out at all and want to enlist the help of others. In both cases, brainstorming can help you on your way. Such a session is intended for new, creative ideas to emerge. Ideas you might not have thought of! But, how do you approach such a session? Where do you start and (more importantly) when do you stop? Brainstorming, how do you actually do that?

What is a brainstorm?

For most people, brainstorming means sitting around the table and exchanging ideas. But brainstorming is more than that. Originally, the term referred to a method for developing ideas in a group – but also alone. During a brainstorming session you get many new ideas about a topic or issue in a fast and creative way. As much as possible is thought of. 

Why brainstorm?

Brainstorming is useful, but also a lot of fun! A session provides connection and support, improves group dynamics and often delivers creative out of the box ideas. It gives a huge boost to come up with cool ideas together. Space to Create therefore regularly brainstorms. About our marketing, website optimisations, new office setups and more. We often do this with a diverse group of people — for example, marketers, designers and developers also join, even though it may not be about design at all. We give everyone the space to think along and this is how often very cool ideas come forward. We believe that you can also use a brainstorm for team building or to improve a collaboration. Give it a try!

Rules for brainstorming

Almost everyone has experience with brainstorming sessions that last for hours and yield no results. A waste of your time and, moreover, not the intention of the technology at all. That's why it doesn't hurt to set a few rules for your brainstorming session: 

  • No criticism. Postpone your judgment for a moment. All ideas are accepted and are more than welcome.
  • Come up with as many ideas as possible. Strive for quantity and variety & don't give up! That increases the chance of a great idea.
  • free wheel. Jump from one branch to the next; wild, crazy ideas are allowed. Is it a bit chaotic? That's fine.
  • hitchhike. 1 + 1 = 2, so mainly piggyback on other people's ideas. Don't get stuck in your own head! 

Best-known brainstorming techniques

During a brainstorming session, techniques are often used to make you look at a question in a different way, to come up with ideas or make smart choices. These brainstorming techniques are of course not essential, but can help if you get stuck (and/or want to avoid this). 

  • Brainwriting
    One of the best-known brainstorming exercises is brainwriting. This technique is about quantity, quantity, quantity. Fifteen ideas in five minutes should definitely work. Also set your goal like this: "In 5 minutes we will generate 15 ideas for problem X." You don't look at each other and no idea is weird or crazy. So it is only written and not assessed. You complement each other's ideas later on and thus get the flow going. Is it difficult to get started? Write a few words at random, for example 'plants', 'culture' and 'hat'. Connect your problem statement with these words and your brain will come up with ideas on its own.
  • Reverse Brainstorming
    Come up with ideas to make the problem worse. The opposite of these ideas will help you discover how to solve the problem.
  • Mind mapping
    This brainstorming technique is often used when people need to learn and remember. With a mind map you choose one central theme. From this theme you draw lines to things that are related to it. This can be in the form of images, texts, pictures, and so on. Ultimately, a web of interconnected elements is created, all of which can be traced back to your focus theme. Small tip: keep the scope small and ensure clear preconditions. The task 'Create an adult game based on the game you used to love' is easier than 'Create a product for a company that can quickly become a multinational company'.
  • Chose Limitless
    In this brainstorming exercise you start from the point of view that anything is possible. There are no limits, so answer questions like:

    – What would we do if there were no budget constraints?
    – How do we do it when we have all the time in the world?
    – What do we do when the technology works perfectly with us?
    – What would we make if making money wasn't an issue?

3 tips for brainstorming

Long story short: brainstorming is a must try. We have listed three tips for effective brainstorming.

  • Take care of a diverse group of people
    And plenty of time to delve into each other's ideas. Many ideas arise from a combination of ideas. The more information you collect, the greater the chance of such a golden combination. Making room for these kinds of creative processes is often difficult in our everyday routine, "it just doesn't happen." If you agree to make time for it, it is very valuable.
  • Brainstorm in a space that stimulates your creativity
    The space in which you organize a meeting has a major influence on your creative thinking process. This not only concerns the design of a room, but also the general atmosphere and the incidence of light. In addition, color is very important — colors (and smells) stimulate our senses and thus influence our mood. An inspiring space is therefore essential for a brainstorming session! maybe be our creative spaces something for you.
  • Write down your ideas
    Be sure to write down ideas or have them written down, and if you can, number the flipcharts and stacks of post-it notes so you can get them back in order. Because you write down ideas during a creativity session, you collect a lot of input that you can easily (re)order. Maybe not everything is useful, but it is always good to have everything in view and to discuss it with each other. Ultimately, you form the best ideas together.

Which idea are you going to work with?

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Brainstorming, how do you do that?

* External lunch is organized by us at a selection of restaurants in the area (max 5 min walk)