Quick Brainstorming Activities

According to Brian Cole Miller in his book, Quick Brainstorming Activities For Busy Managers, there are 50 ways to improve your brainstorming at your company or in your organization.

My favorite is the Paper Swap brainstorming activity:
  • A brainstorming technique where participants write their input on separate pieces of paper; then they swap papers and continue to add input.
Miller provides 49 other techniques in his book (released by Amacom last month), all of which take less than 15 minutes to complete.

For all brainstorming sessions, Miller reminds leaders that you should:
  • Focus on quantity not quality
  • Don't allow criticism
  • Encourage wild ideas
  • Combine ideas for more ideas
Miller also suggests that the best starting question for a brainstorming session is a Focus Question -- one that:
  • Uses the participants' own language
  • Is personal to the participants and not the organization
  • Evokes responses with imagery
This is a must-read book for any manager who needs to effectively lead brainstorming sessions.


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