September 6, 2022

220: Methods for Robust Brainstorm Sessions

Brainstorming is a method of developing ideas in a group setting. It’s used to solve problems, come up with new ideas, and generally explore possibilities. While it may seem like a simple task, there’s often much more than meets the eye when it comes to effective brainstorming. Working through various exercises helps you not only generate ideas but also deeply understand the situation you are looking at.

Today’s episode is about brainstorming. Almost every team, at some point, has a brainstorming session. While brainstorming can be as straightforward as “okay, what ideas do you have?” There are also different methods to help you make the most of your brainstorming time together, and that’s what I cover here.

The full episode guide includes lists of prompts and suggested approaches for boosting your brainstorming sessions. Get it when you join the Modern Manager community or purchase the full guide at

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Read the related blog article: 3 Brainstorming Strategies for Every Situation

Key Takeaways:

  • Separate the idea generation from idea evaluation in order to facilitate creative thinking.
  • Use the phrase “If I had a magic wand…” to help people avoid censoring their ideas based on what they think is feasible or will be viewed as “good” by their colleagues.
  • Prepare specific prompts ahead of time to help get people thinking more broadly. For example, “How might we use our space differently?” or “What 1-time changes could we make?” or “What global trends might impact us?”
  • Ask people to “wear specific hats” to get them to think from other people’s perspectives. For example, “how would Steve Jobs solve this problem?”
  • Try iterating on a single idea to see if there is a version of that idea that is more feasible or more impactful.
  • Give people time to brainstorm quietly on their own before sharing all ideas out loud.

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