Using different types of brainstorming methods creates an open and creative space for you to come up with new ideas. When done correctly, it can help you come up with incredible ideas for your project.
A brainstorming session where one-half people have no idea what they are saying while the other half are asleep is a disaster. It leaves the team members feeling uninspired, unproductive, and drained.
This occurs mainly when the facilitator only focuses on good ideas. The first rule of any brainstorming session is prioritizing quantity over quality. Yes, you read it right.
Dismissing low-quality ideas can develop a fear of rejection in team members and make them hesitant to share their opinions and raise their voices.
Brainstorming sessions must be seen as an opportunity, rather than a chore. It is possible only when you create a space that you accept all the ideas and suggestions. This way, there will be more fresh ideas coming to light.
In this blog, we will discuss 15 brainstorming methods that will leave you inspired. These methods will help your creative juices flow and get more in tune with your creative side.
15 Crucial Brainstorming Methods You Must Try for Your Next Goal
When it comes to effective brainstorming sessions, quantity must precede quality. The end goal is to create a pool of ideas from which the best idea can be chosen.
Depending on your end goals and values, here are some brainstorming methods that you can choose from:
1. Brainstorming Methods: Brainwriting
In this method, people anonymously write their ideas either at the same time or at different times. Later these ideas are gathered and compiled into one single document. The document is then shared and people are asked to give their feedback on each idea.
This method ensures that every member of the group puts their efforts into ideation and avoids idea anchoring. The main goal behind the brainwriting method is to separate idea generation from discussion.
Advantages of Brainwriting
- Everyone can actively participate in the group (even the introverts)
- It prevents anchoring of the ideas and reduces the chances of bias
- Ensures that all ideas are heard
- Promotes diverse input
Disadvantages of Brainwriting
- Gathering ideas from everyone can be time-consuming
- It requires a proper facilitator to oversee the project
- It can lead to a less dynamic discussion
2. Brainstorming Methods: Figure Storming/ Role Storming
Sometimes stepping into the shoes of other people can help you generate better ideas or find an effective solution. This is the concept behind figure or role-storming. It is a good idea if you find yourself going around in circles.
Your team leader may ask you to place yourself in the shoes of someone famous like Mahatma Gandhi or Nelson Mandela and ask you to consider their perspective.
Advantages of Figure Storming
- Encourages creative thinking
- Arouses the empathy of people
- Gives people a different perspective on the topic or problem
Disadvantages of Figure Storming
- The chosen figure can put a limit on the thinker
- It may lead to a biased perspective
- It can only work in a few scenarios
3. Brainstorming Methods: Eidetic Image Method
The Eidetic image method is one of the visual brainstorming methods. It is more effective when used in projects that need enhancement, rather than innovation.
The facilitator shows you the image of the brand’s product. After closing your eyes for some time and meditating on that image, you can voice your ideas. Once you share your ideas, it is recorded and saved in a digital folder.
Advantages of the Eidetic Image Method
- Taps into the vivid imagination
- Fosters creative thinking
- Leads to unique solutions
Disadvantages of the Eidetic Image Method
- It can be subjective
- Isn’t practical for every problem
- Poor creativity can hinder the process
4. Brainstorming Methods: Brain Netting
Brain netting is one of the online brainstorming methods that uses virtual methods to gather the input of team members. Several collaboration tools can help you with it.
In this method, your team leader will ask you a general question such as, “What can we improve in our client acquisition strategy?”. All the team members must add their input to the software which gets saved.
Advantages of Brain Netting
- Enhances connection between the ideas
- Encourages holistic thinking
- Paves the way for crossing over ideas
Disadvantages of Brain Netting
- Managing interconnected ideas can be complex
- In larger groups, it can lead to chaos
- It requires a skilled facilitator
5. Brainstorming Methods: Round-Robin Brainstorm
This is one of the brainstorming methods used for middle to large-sized teams. It aims to create a safe space for people on the quieter end to raise their opinions. An important rule of this method is to provide equal weight to all opinions.
To begin with a round-robin brainstorm, everyone has to sit in a circle. The facilitator or team leader will put up a question and everyone has to offer their ideas one by one.
Advantages of Round-Robin Brainstorm
- Ensure equal participation
- Generates a wide variety of ideas
- Avoids the dominance of active individuals
Disadvantages of Round-Robin Brainstorm
- Limited interaction between the participants
- Ideas of participants can be influenced by earlier suggestions
6. Brainstorming Methods: Step Ladder technique
This is one of the brainstorming ideas where you are asked to give your input before the group discussion.
In this method, the facilitator provides a question for the entire group. Next, all the participants are sent out of the room and only two of them are allowed to sit in the room. They share their ideas. After this, the next two people join the group and share their ideas. This process continues till everyone enters the room.
Advantages of the Step Ladder Technique
- Reduces the influence of active members
- Allows people to perform in-depth exploration
- Encourages quieter people to engage in brainstorming session
Disadvantages of the Step Ladder Technique
- It isn’t always practical to conduct
- Chances of missing out on contribution by a large team
7. Brainstorming Methods: Mind Mapping
Mind mapping is a creative and non-linear diagram where you catch every idea that comes to your mind related to a topic. This way, you don’t miss anything. This creative brainstorming method also helps you to understand the connection between different ideas.
You have to start by placing the question in the center. Any idea that comes to your mind related to the main idea will be shown as branching and radiating out from the center.
Advantages of Mind Mapping
- Encourages free-flowing thoughts
- Helps to organize and visualize links between multiple ideas
Disadvantages of Mind Mapping
- It can be time-consuming
- It requires good visualization skills
- When used for complex topics, it becomes overwhelming
8. Brainstorming Methods: Change of Scenery
While brainstorming solutions to a problem, changing your scenery can work wonders for your mind. Changing your location even for some time can stimulate your brain and make new connections between the ideas.
You can keep a brainstorming session outside your usual workspace. You can choose a place for a casual lunch or even a different floor of your workplace. The point is to change your location.
Advantages of Change of Scenery
- Refreshes creativity
- Reduces monotony
- Leads to breakthrough thinking
Disadvantages of Change of Scenery
- Not always practical
- May disrupt workflow
- Effectiveness may vary
9. Brainstorming Methods: Gap Filling
Gap filling is one of the brainstorming methods where people analyze their distance from their end goals. In other words, they find the lacking elements between their current state and end goal.
The team leader tells the group their current standing and their end goals. To cover up the gap, the team members start to put in their ideas.
Advantages of Gap-Filling
- It can improve your existing processes.
- Ensures that there are no gaps left in the process.
- Encourages people to generate more comprehensive ideas.
Disadvantages of Gap-Filling
- People may overlook alternative solutions
- When done wrong, it can feel like a chore
- May not be applicable in all the situations
10. Brainstorming Methods: Random Word Brainstorming
This is a type of brainstorming method where people come up with different ideas by creating connections between random words. As your brain is used to quickly identify patterns between challenging situations, this technique is considered effective.
First, the facilitator identifies the problem to solve. Next, they choose a random word and tell it to their team individually or in a group. The team members try to come up with similar ideas based on those random words.
Advantages of Random Word Brainstorming
- Boosts lateral thinking
- Fosters creativity
- Leads to unexpected solutions
Disadvantages of Random Word Brainstorming
- A skilled facilitator is a must
- People may drift from the main topic
- It can become chaotic
11. Brainstorming Methods: The ‘Whys’ Method
If you have ever spent some time with a toddler, you would know that you can be bombarded with several ‘why’ questions at any time. Believe it or not, following this approach in idea generation can be effective. It helps the individuals to get to the heart of a problem.
When compared to traditional brainstorming methods, the whys method is less structured. This encourages open discussion where everyone can participate and get to the root cause of an issue.
Advantages of The Whys Method
- Encourages open dialogues and deep thinking
- Helps people to make a more informed decision
Disadvantages of The Whys Method
- It can become repetitive and time-consuming
- It may not be suitable for every idea generation situation
12. Brainstorming Methods: S.C.A.M.P.E.R.
This is one of the brainstorming methods that has been taken from the teenage gaming industry.
In this method, people are made to pass their ideas through seven filters before accepting them. It includes – substitution, combination, adaption, modification, put to another use, elimination, and reverse.
Advantages of S.C.A.M.P.E.R.
- Encourages thinking at multiple levels
- Fosters adaptability
- Improved problem-solving ability
Disadvantages of S.C.A.M.P.E.R.
- It can be overwhelming for some
- Requires thoughtful application
- Not ideal for discussing simple issues
13. Brainstorming Methods: Rapid Ideation
This is one of the brainstorming methods where people are supposed to generate ideas in a limited time. By setting a time limit, people are compelled to stimulate their brains as quickly as possible to produce many new ideas at once.
Here, the leader provides one idea to the group of people and sets a time limit. Ask everyone to contribute as many ideas as possible. Next, ask each person to clarify their ideas in a limited time. This method ensures that not much time is wasted on the discussion of one single idea.
Advantages of Rapid Ideation
- Promotes quick thinking
- Prevents overthinking
- Yields a large volume of ideas in a limited time
Disadvantages of Rapid Ideation
- Ideas may lack depth
- It can lead to superficial solutions
- It may not suit all problem types
14. Brainstorming Methods: Starbursting
Have you ever seen a working journalist? They are constantly in search of new angles that can make their story appear more unique. Starbursting appears somewhat similar.
First, the main idea is placed in the center of the diagram. Later, you have to create questions on each aspect of the topic (what, why, where, how, and when).
As starbursting is an exploratory brainstorming method, you can get deep into the discussion. Before you know it, you have got a tonne of information on the topic.
Advantages of Starbursting
- Helps to explore an idea in-depth
- It encourages critical thinking
- It provides more clarity on the topic
Disadvantages of Starbursting
- The process can be time-consuming
- This can lead to a lengthy list of questions
- Less suitable for topics that require a solution
15. Brainstorming Methods: S.W.O.T. analysis
S.W.O.T analysis is not a brainstorming method, rather it is a type of strategy planning that goes hand-in-hand with other brainstorming methods. This technique is used to analyze the quality of a product, project, or business.
S.W.O.T. is an acronym that stands for:
Strength: Assess the positive aspects of a brand that help it stand out from other brands in the same niche.
Weaknesses: Assess the negative aspects of a brand that can either hurt the image of the brand or degrade its value in the market.
Opportunities: Assess the business opportunities in the present market that will help you level up your game in the market.
Threats: Assess the potential challenges or threats that your brand can face in the market.
Advantages of S.W.O.T. Analysis
- Offers a structured framework for the analysis of a brand
- Helps in effective strategy planning
- Enhances the quality of decision-making
Disadvantages of S.W.O.T. Analysis
- It isn’t as creative as other brainstorming methods
- It may oversimplify some complex issues
- It may not necessarily lead to a concrete solution
When it comes to conducting effective brainstorming sessions that leave people feeling inspired, the key is to choose quantity. More ideas lead to the curation of better ideas that only add to the final process.
By using the right brainstorming methods, you can make your session more impactful. These different brainstorming methods also add enjoyment and improve interaction among your team members.
Which of these do you usually use with your team?