While agendas may vary, here’s a rough outline of what a productive brainstorm might look like:
1. Select a problem or theme to discuss
Specify the issue or subject that will be covered during the online brainstorming session. To make things easier, attempt to turn the brainstorming topic into a clear and straightforward question.
Also, when selecting a topic, evaluate whether you’re dealing with a problem or an opportunity.
2. Choose a brainstorming technique
Decide on the method of brainstorming that you want to use. Think about the theme you’ve chosen and research which method fits best in response to it. Don’t forget to consider what you intend to achieve at the conclusion of the session as well.
Some popular brainstorming techniques include storyboarding, mind mapping, SWOT analysis, round robin, business model canvas, rapid ideation, and many others.
3. Choose your innovation tools
Once you’ve settled for a brainstorming method, choose the ideal tool for the task. If this is your first virtual brainstorming session, keep in mind that there are several tools available.
Assuming you’ve chosen ideation, search for the best ideation software available in the market today. Then, study how you can use it to further your brainstorming agenda.
As an idea and innovation management software, you can use Accept Mission to build a virtual idea box or launch an ideation mission where participants can contribute as many new ideas as they can while using an alias.
4. Identify who your participants will be
Once you’ve decided on a topic, it’s time to choose the participants. Ask experts to obtain a deeper understanding of the topic, but don’t dismiss non-experts either.
They may be able to provide the team with different insights on how to approach the subject or issue you wish to improve or solve.
5. Prepare your virtual space
Prepare the virtual space for your upcoming brainstorming session. Plan the entire activity from start to finish so you can provide further details about it for your attendees.
Accept Mission has several templates you can choose from when launching “missions” or campaigns. Plus, it has a built-in mission builder that you can utilize to modify brainstorming sessions, including their time, duration, and many others.
You can also switch on the undercover mode to encourage your participants to participate anonymously.
6. Send out the invitations
Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, it’s time to invite your attendees to the session. It’s an excellent idea to provide them with some background on the subject so they can gather enough insights ahead of time.
Send out invitations via email or private messaging. However, if you’re using ideation tools like Accept Mission, you may send out an invitation through the tool by adding the person’s name to your email list.
Plus, with Accept Mission’s gamification features, you can make this experience fun by giving out points and other rewards to foster engagement.
7. Start brainstorming
After you’ve set everything up and invited your attendees, the only thing left to do is manage the session.
The key for this step is to keep in mind that striking the right balance is essential between allowing your participants to brainstorm and leading them through the exercise.
Some helpful practices you may put in place are:
- Contribute to each other’s ideas instead of being critical. That way, your participants will feel that they are truly free to express their ideas.
- Welcome every input. Make the session as collaborative as possible. Allow everyone to speak and develop discussions.
- Stimulate deeper thought by asking the right questions.
Remember that the goal of brainstorming is to generate as many ideas as possible. Following the session, ideas will be chosen and reviewed. The more ideas you generate, the higher your chances of finding one or two exceptional ones.
It’s also a good idea to utilize gamification components to encourage your members to participate more actively.
Create a feeling of urgency by using clocks, deadlines, and other constraints. Lastly, increase the effectiveness of the session by encouraging participants to collaborate with one another.