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Business Brainstorming

Thursday, May 19, 2016   By Mike Reddy

 



Business is about finding new and exciting ways of doing things, brainstorming is an excellent way to accomplish this vital task.

So here’s our simple 5 step process to get you started solving your biggest challenges!

Define Issues - The first step in finding any solutions is to recognise and define the issues at hand. Brainstorming may be used to find specific answers to specific problems or more broadly may be used to find innovative ideas to vague challenges. What is important is that all group members understand the goals of the session.

Assemble Participants - Next, decide who will be part of this brainstorming session. Typically it is best to have a mix of experts and novices. You should also strive to have participants from diverse backgrounds. The goal is to have lots of unique ways of viewing the issues at hand. This should result in some potentially groundbreaking solutions. 6-12 participants seems to work really well.

Review/ Agree On Rules - In order to maintain order and make all participants feel comfortable voicing their thoughts, it is important to lay some ground rules for the team. Basic suggestions would be to avoid criticism and interruptions. You should also welcome any and all ideas. Let the group know that no matter how crazy an idea may seem it may lead to the eventual best solution.

Begin - It is now time to get down to business. There are many ways to do this, but one of the most basic would be to go around the group and receive individual ideas. After that, make small teams and combine various ideas to see what may work best. You can repeat this process as many times as you think necessary.

Decide - This process depends on the leadership style of your business. In a traditional business the leadership may consolidate ideas and decide with no further input from anyone. Increasingly, businesses are allowing employees to have more input, and in this type of business the brainstorming group may conduct a vote or some other means of deciding the way forward.

Give brainstorming a try on any challenges you may find facing your business. You will very likely find yourself with innovative solutions you have never before considered!


Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.