Crumpled pieces of paper, some pastries and assortment of beverages along with exhausted and bored people are typically found at a company brainstorming session. With the arrival of conference call, brainstorming participants are now often sprinkled about the country. One advantage of an audio only conference is the timid participants won't be intimidated to stifle themselves by sneers or scowls by their confident cohorts. Here are six tips that can make a teleconference brainstorming session worthwhile:
- After you have introduced the subject allow everyone some time to think and write down their ideas before the conversation begins.
- Don't allow harsh comments while the ideas are being tossed around.
- Encourage participants to offer any idea, even if it's a bit outrageous; it could lead to inspiring someone to have a great idea.
- Continually vote on the ideas; eliminating the ideas that received a small percentage of the votes. Eventually the winning idea will emerge.
- Be on the lookout for hidden agendas. Some participants might have secretly agreed in advance to reject the ideas of specific members. They may have agreed in advance to praise a specific idea and stimulate others to jump on board.
- Bring in new people for the brainstorming project in order to add stimulation to the process.