Leadership Creativity: The Golden Rules of Effective Brainstorming

brainstorming-design-engineAs a leader, you need to be able, among other things, to create a vision for the organisation or the team that you lead, anticipate the need for change and think of ways of creating competitive advantage.

Faced with these problems or challenges, leaders need to be able to stand back, see the bigger picture and generate ideas and solutions.

Brainstorming is often used by groups of senior leaders to look at options to challenges that are being faced. Used well, it really can make a big difference. So what are the golden rules of effective brainstorming?

Rule 1: Aim for quantity

As a creativity tool, one of the real benefits of brainstorming is the number of ideas that can be generated in a relatively short space of time. When ideas are being generated, it builds momentum and may even spark options that would otherwise have been completely missed or never even been considered. Remember, when it comes to brainstorming, volume matters.

Rule 2: Avoid premature judgement

One of the benefits of brainstorming is that ideas flow freely. If you start to judge ideas as soon as they are put forward, you will not only stop the flow of ideas but potentially dismiss too easily ideas with potential.

Rule 3: Build on ideas

As one person puts forward an idea, it is likely to spark ideas from others. Someone may well have put an idea forward which is good but, with the contribution of the ideas of others, can become exceptional. See the brainstorming process as a way of leveraging the best ideas to create something exceptional.

Rule 4: Use wild cards

Imagine you have a group of professionals brainstorming. Yes, they will come up with some great ideas, but imagine if you throw into the melting pot ideas from other disciplines who could offer a different perspective on the problem, challenge or opportunity, for example, having a couple of marketing people in a session that consists mainly of accountants or lawyers.

Bottom Line: To achieve success as a leader, you need to be able to think outside of the box. So how could you use brainstorming to create more leadership success

Duncan Brodie helps accountants achieve more career success. He invites you to check out his free report, The 7 Biggest Barriers To Having A Successful Career In Accountancy

About the Author Duncan Brodie

Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 8,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.

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