Picture this; you gather with your team for a brainstorming session. You get comfy, clear out the briefing and it's time to start spitting out ideas. After a short silence, you throw the first idea that comes up to your head and all you get is a "ugh, no", "that won't work" and a pretty rude "that's been done already".
If this situation sounds too familiar, it's time we talk about two concepts: adding vs. filtering.
When you face a brainstorming session or any other kind of creative course, the first you want is a lot of ideas. Why a lot? Well, imagine you are about to play a football game. You want to win the game, so you set up the tactic; let's shoot for goal as much as we can. Makes sense, right? The more times you shoot, the bigger probability you'll have to score and win the game.
With ideas, it works in the same way. The more you have, the more chances to have an awesome one.
If this is not enough reason, we'll give you a second one; you can use other people's ideas to build something greater and better. Use them as triggers for your thoughts. Combine and modify them. We have a beautiful post about that. Go and read it.
So you have a bunch of ideas already. Now it makes sense to start filtering and selecting. After adding, not before that, indeed, because how are you going to filter if you don't have anything to filter?
Everything at the right time
It's important we don't mix these two concepts. Differentiate the adding and the filtering stage. It's not only about creating some order and making the process more efficient but also to create a safer space for your creatives. In a good adding phase, everyone is welcome to say the silliest ideas. It should be mandatory. It's the time to explore and take risks.
If you start shooting down ideas at an early stage, you'll kill some potential gems and destroy your team's vibe.
So remember, next time you start ideating, first add, then filter.
Triggers is excellent opening creative paths and making it very easy for everyone to come up with ideas. Even your clients don't have any training; they'll have a great and useful time using the cards.
A goal is the essential part of a team. Without a goal, your team is just a group of people gathering around. There would be no purpose and no clear direction. That's why, before every creative meeting, we advise you to set the goal of the session very clear.
It is a common problem. It could be personality, personal situation, or trust issues. Whatever the reason is, the problem is always the same: not everyone contributes with ideas when brainstorming. Even when it could sound like a huge issue and some difficult to solve, it's not. You just need to introduce one simple step in your creative sessions: first write, then share.
Admit it. We don't know how to listen really. It's a common thing. When someone comes to tell us something, while we are listening, we already think what to answer. It's an automatic mechanism inside of us, and it usually leads to a lot of prejudges and misunderstandings.
Ideating with Triggers cards could be addictive! That isn't necessarily a bad thing (we assure you there are no health contraindications), but we recommend to put a limit on the number of cards you use for each session.
It's reality. There are days when you or your team will be feeling lazy, unmotivated or just not in the mood of going into the ideation process.
If you have been facilitating the creative process or in charge of a creative team before, you know how tough is to direct them without sounding like a dictator or killing their motivation.
It doesn't matter how well you prepare the exercises for your brainstorming sessions, if the team doesn't come with the right attitude, it will be a disaster.
It's 2017 and project managers still freak out every time they have to calculate how long it will take the creative team to arrive at a solution for the client's brief. We have all been there. It's an endless fight. So, is it impossible to calculate how long the creative process should last?
We all like shortcuts, especially if they can cut us unnecessary time spent in boring "creative" meetings. When it comes to creativity, we depend too much on the Eureka moment, but there are ways to get there quicker.