Encouraging Brainstorming: 13 Ways To Help Team Members Connect

Your team members can be your greatest source of inspiration. Having a solid group of creative, hardworking individuals contributing their ideas often produces beautiful results for a business. However, people must make a conscious effort to collaborate with, and learn from, each other.

To initiate these productive discussions, good communication is key. Below, members of Forbes Business Council share their preferred methods for helping team members connect, either with leaders or with peers and Encouraging Brainstorming.

Members discuss a few ways to encourage brainstorming.


1. Team Communication Platforms

Online team communication tools like Slack and project management tools like Basecamp can help bring teams from different geographical areas together for brainstorming and other project-related tasks. They are being used by both the largest companies as well as startups and keep the log of all communications between the team members. – Syed GilaniSafr Technologies Inc

2. In-Person Meetings

I think a meeting of the minds, with the entire team present, is crucial when trying to alleviate in-house issues. When people are brainstorming together they feed off of each other’s ideas and reach better conclusions on how to solve them. – Hoda Mahmoodzadegan, BAḴT Global

3. A 20-Minute Meeting With A Clear Brainstorming Agenda

I like to allocate a 20-minute meeting slot with the team and send them an agenda for brainstorming. It may or may not be relevant to their core job but as long as they are committed to the vision and growth of the company, I trust in their ability to contribute to anything that helps the company grow. We follow through with a goal setting, idea list and collaborate to streamline the next steps. – Neha KesarwaniVertoe

4. Team Lunch

I touch base with my team members on a regular basis and we will bounce off a couple of ideas back and forth. This really just gets the ball rolling, but it’s in the monthly team meetings when we sit down to discuss where some of the ideas take shape or become concrete. Generally, collaboration works best because it brings about different perspectives. – Brian ChewOC Wills & Trust Attorneys

5. Email Threads

When looking for ideas or brainstorming, email is a powerful tool that transforms decent ideas into great ones. Sending an email to the appropriate team members creates a visual thread for everyone to view someone’s perspective and point of view. The email thread goes from being a question to a group to a solid and creative idea put together by many minds building off of each other. – Benjamin ElzweigActive Staffing Services

6. Getting Out Of The Office (And The Routine)

Having a boring meeting at the office leads to zero innovation. You have to do something different. You need to get out of the office. Jump around, listen to crazy music, break the traditional habits and patterns that shape your thinking. You must lead the way in doing silly things like jumping jacks or dancing around. This is how you truly open up creative thinking in your team. – Matt BodnarFresh Capital Group

7. Audio Files

Most valuable insights strike when you aren’t planning for them, meaning you’re away from your desk and unable to stop, drop and write. Apps like Voxer and Whatsapp make it easy to verbally process these ideas with your team on the spot while they are still fresh in your mind. The audio files can be easily saved, transcribed, and filed for use on current and future projects. – Sara IntonatoSaraYoga

8. Spreading The Brainstorm Out Over Three Days

Our best brainstorm outcomes happen when we chop the brainstorm session in half and give everyone a break of one to two days in between. When we brainstorm in this way, the final day conversations often overflow with new insights because everyone has time to break away, think from different angles and sleep on it, and a bigger-picture perspective or new opportunities often are the outcome. – Andy RodosevichHemp Depot

9. A ‘Light’ Business Model Canvas

When brainstorming new businesses, projects, products and solutions, I utilize the Business Model Canvas to bring a group through an Encouraging Brainstorming session. It’s organized simply and easy to follow, hits on critical planning elements required by most projects and allows for a comprehensive team and cross-team collaboration. – Lauren CooneySpark Labs

10. Engaging In Physical Activity Together

When reaching out to team members in search of new ideas, the best method to stir up a positive brainstorming session is to do so while conducting a fun activity. Activities such as biking, hiking, paintball or a team sport usually bring out the competitive spirit and thought-provoking endorphins, and as such the ideas have a tendency to start flowing. It’s also a great team-building tool! – George CsahiouniSwoop Business Solutions

11. Asking For Anonymous Feedback

When truly looking for new ideas or Encouraging Brainstorming, it’s important that contributors in lower levels of the organization don’t feel that because their position is lesser that their ideas have less value and power. Not so! To alleviate this, create an environment of anonymity—have everyone write their idea on paper, without their name, and place it in a box to draw from for discussion. – Bruce MaxwellMSI Management and Consulting Services, Inc

12. Asking One-On-One First

Leaders need to ensure all voices get heard. I like to meet one-to-one with people and approach them with the comment, “I have some ideas that I would like to run by you and would appreciate your perspectives on them.” You’ll likely get more candid feedback from them. Great leaders know how to draw people out and demonstrate that contributions are valued. – David CreanObjective Capital Partners, LLC

13. Looking Beyond Your Immediate Team

Sometimes it really pays off to ask others within your organization who are not within your team to get a lot more types of ideas. Your team members might have very biased and traditional ideas. This is why some marketing companies conduct surveys with the public. Think outside the box! – Deniz DoganayDigital Debut


Article: Encouraging Brainstorming: 13 Ways To Help Team Members Connect,  Forbes

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