Ideation Stagnation: Don't Let Your Brainstorming Session Be Hijacked

You are gathered in a room with a facilitator and sticky notes are flying. You hope that after the session, you'll be able to tackle your problem to solve with new ideas.

The main goal in a brainstorming (also known as ideation) session, is to generate as many ideas as possible, before filtering them to find an final solution.  The challenge however, is that there is always THAT ONE PERSON who dominates the session.  If the facilitator is not aware, the extrovert of the room will soon takeover.

Here are some tips to ensure a successful brainstorming session:
  1. Ensure the attendee list consists of a wide variety of backgrounds, personalities and outlooks
  2. Make sure you find a seasoned facilitator who knows how to go "off script" if he/she realizes the participation from the attendees is lop-sided
  3. Include "games" where people are given a turn to share their opinions
  4. Have a timer so that each comment can only last 30 seconds
  5. Include exercises where the attendees can brainstorm by themselves and jot down ideas, in order to share the one good idea.

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