Brainstorming is a systematic approach that is usually used for group ideation. Combined with certain rules and tools, group members start by articulating major problems, generating new ideas based on certain guidelines, and finally discovering creative and actionable solutions.
Here are some great techniques VUCAC’s internal team uses to run a five-step process for effective brainstorming with VUCAC’s online whiteboard.
Step 1 ：Articulate our goals and principles on the whiteboard
Like running a productive discussion with a shared topic, before jumping into brainstorming, all shareholders need to discuss and write down the goal of this session and the related principles that will frame our discussion afterwards.
The moderator usually prepares the following content before the session.
Step 2：Start with a built-in template and timebox for the first session
After the moderator invites everyone to join the whiteboard and agree on mutual goals and principles, we can begin our first discussion.
Here are 3 helpful tips we want to share with you:
- Choose our favorite Brainstorming template from the left sidebar and add it to the whiteboard with a few clicks.
- Each participant needs to fill in his name or nickname on the sticky notes in the first row.
- The moderator usually uses the Timer on the bottom left toolbar to timebox the first session for 5 minutes. By putting a little pressure at this stage, everyone can be more focused on writing down relevant ideas.
Step 3：Use the Presentation mode to share ideas
After the first session, the moderator will give each participant 1 minute to talk about his ideas.
If we find too many sticky notes a little distracting, the speaker can turn on the Presentationmode to allow everyone else to view from your perspective.
Again, don’t rush to any judgment.
One important objective of brainstorming is to bring all sorts of ideas and solutions to the table. With VUCAC whiteboard, we try to create an interactive approach to encourage people to come up with ideas that might be a bit crazy at the beginning but will inspire others to generate more creative solutions to the problem.
In the meantime, giving comments to the participant immediately when he is still sharing will discourage open discussion and divert others’ attention.
Step 4：Use sticky note groups to expand thinking and reiterate the process
There are two critical stages for effective brainstorming: divergent thinking and idea consolidation.
Based on the first session, we can use more stick note groups to expand certain topics and continue divergent thinking. The participant with more ideas should be allowed to add more slogans to the sticky notes in our case.
Step 5 ：Set up a voting session to decide the ideas preferred
We might raise hands to show votes in office meetings. However, in our virtual brainstorming session on VUCAC’s whiteboard, we use the Voting tool on the same toolbar as the timer.
Every participant can edit the voting tool instantly to choose his preference.
We also need to realize that the majority rule won’t apply to all situations. Especially in the brainstorming session, voting is just one efficient way to find out the most preferable idea but not the only way. If someone still loves his idea, he should be encouraged to convince others under the moderator’s control and maybe give everyone a second chance to vote.
VUCAC is an online whiteboard for real-time teamwork. We strive to provide a visual collaboration platform for better communication and productivity.
Try it today for free.