Team brainstorming: How to come up with new ideas and input
Discover how to brainstorm as a team, wherever you’re working from. Say goodbye to common brainstorming problems with examples and tips from Kahoot!
Aha moments are priceless, but wouldn’t it be awesome if the journey to come up with the best solutions were also exciting (and easy)? Truth is, sticky notes don’t always stick to the wall, and ideas on paper are quickly forgotten. Today, typical team brainstorming sessions are predictable and can even get awkward if motivation to participate is low. Not to mention, they can be complicated if too many team members are involved, or they’re not all in the same physical room.
Reimagine how you brainstorm at work to make the experience better for everyone. Keep reading for inspiration to make brainstorming more inclusive, efficient, and ultimately: more productive.
Let’s start with the basics, what is brainstorming?
According to the dictionary by Merriam-Webster, to brainstorm is “to try to solve a problem or come up with new ideas by having a discussion that includes all members of a group.”
Many people believe brainstorming can be used to come up with the best new ideas and input. And recently, the collaborative, creative problem-solving process has grown in popularity. Indeed, in business, brainstorming is now a buzzword.
It’s carried out by teams worldwide and with good reason. The benefits of brainstorming at work include:
Nowadays, brainstorming is ever-present. A growing need to make brainstorming more practical has made people turn to brainstorming tools, like Kahoot! that makes it easyto bring a large group together and quickly come up with new ideas within any session.
The widespread adoption of these digital tools has also made common brainstorming problems like time efficiency, inclusion, and scale a thing of the past! Nowadays, with so many people enjoying and taking advantage of brainstorming no matter where they are, it’s likely not going away anytime soon.
When and where to brainstorm (and ideas for what to brainstorm on)
The brainstorming process doesn’t have to take place at a certain time or place to be productive. Today, teamsare brainstorming remotely, or in hybrid environments and don’t need to set an hour or two aside for a session dedicated to idea generation.
In fact, brainstorming doesn’t need to be the only item on the agenda, nor the most time-consuming one. Coming up with new ideas and input can be a small part of any broader workshop, all-hands meeting, or team meeting.
With this in mind, the possibilities of what to brainstorm as a team are also endless! Examples of brainstorming topics could be:
New products and features
Company culture perceptions
Company values and their meaning
Favorite projects (to celebrate success and recognize employees)
Process improvements and highlights from a period of time (retrospectives from a month, quarter, or year)
and more situations that are up for discussion and where input is welcome! Teams responsible for Product, Marketing, HR, Management, Sales, Customer Success, Consulting, or other areas can all find value in collecting and discussing ideas.
So, what does a structured, quick team brainstorm look like? It can be quite productive, fun, and even rewarding. Get inspired by how the Kahoot! team does it. Bonus: our brainstorming technique is completely paperless!
1. Collect input or ideas
Kickstart the process by asking a question live. Top tip: To make team brainstorming as productive as possible, lead with a strong question.
Set the scene with a question that is broad enough to spark creative input, while still making it relevant to the problem you are trying to solve. Examples of brainstorming questions could be
What could we do to improve our next product launch?
How should we promote this new service?
What type of visual should we have on our main landing page?
What should we name this new feature?
Where should we host the next conference?
What should be the goal of the project?
What is the best part of spring? (when thinking broadly about a spring campaign)
What do you want to hear more about in the next all-hands meeting?
After sharing the brainstorming question, participants type and submit 3 different suggestions anonymously. Then, everyone’s ideas show up on a shared screen effortlessly, wherever team members may be joining from.
2. Discuss them as a group
With all ideas on the screen, the brainstorming facilitator can start sorting them into categories. Meanwhile, team members can address or expand on any of them out loud. The facilitator can go through them one by one, or just open the floor to all.
Note: With Kahoot!, you can choose how to brainstorm. You can add the classic brainstorm feature to any presentation and also spark discussions with word clouds, polls, and even quizzes. Lead a brainstorming session that includes all these for the most engaging experience.
3. Vote for the best
Time for participants to pick the ideas that are more creative, most feasible, or just the ones participants identify with the most. Everyone gets a say and a chance to vote on any and all. The 3 top-voted ideas, and the names of those that came up with them, get featured on the shared screen.
These 3 steps are all possible with the Kahoot! brainstorm feature. Watch the video below to learn more about adding quick brainstorms to spark creativity and discussions at your next presentation, meeting, or workshop.
Say goodbye to common brainstorming problems by:
Preventing team members from pre-judging their ideas. How? Add a time limit to submit ideas.
Creating a safe space for everyone, even introverts, to share and have a say. Make idea generation and voting anonymous!
Keeping people engaged. Award points to team members with the top-voted ideas. This can make the brainstorming experience extra rewarding when it’s time to reveal the most popular ones.
Revisit all ideas and suggestions shared, way past the session is over. Go paperless and make it easy to follow up!
What to do after an awesome team brainstorming session
This comes after the 3-step instructions above on how to brainstorm. As the brainstorming facilitator, revisit the submitted suggestions (top-voted, high-quality, and not) and your notes from your discussion. You might find patterns and could end up combining ideas to come up with the ultimate solution. After this, make an action plan and share it to make everyone feel valued. When a process comes full circle, it’s more likely to lead to the desired outcome.
Tip: Make it easy to look back at all the ideas your team came up with by making brainstorming digital. Don’t worry about having to pick up fallen sticky notes from the ground or trying to decipher handwriting.
Make brainstorming a habit
Who wouldn’t like to be a part of an organization where people are encouraged to share input and think out of the box? Contribute to cultivating a culture of innovation at your workplace by making brainstorming a more frequent part of your job. You don’t wait for everyone to have availability for a long team brainstorming session. Crowdsource ideas in any type of meeting!
Propose more open, regular, team discussions! It won’t be long before people notice and want to either join or have their own brainstorms. As described above, the benefits of these abound.
Ideating collaboratively in a safe space for all team members gets an organization places. Brainstorming is a buzzword in today’s business world for a reason. And it’s easier to do than ever before! Say goodbye to common brainstorming problems by taking advantage of modern brainstorming tools to include and involve everyone, and facilitate all parts of your process. A great experience, whether your team is meeting online, in-person, or in-between, is sure to unlock the best ideas.
Aha moments and awesome solutions are coming to you. Time to brainstorm!