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How To Run A Brainstorming Meeting

To run a brainstorming meeting effectively, set a clear objective, encourage open communication for all attendees to generate and share creative ideas, and ensure every idea is documented for further evaluation and implementation.

A brainstorming meeting is a collaborative session where a group of people come together to generate as many ideas or solutions as possible around a specific concept, problem, or project. The primary objective of this type of meeting is to encourage free thinking and open discussion, which leads to a plethora of innovative and out-of-the-box ideas. It helps foster creativity and encourages every team member to participate, improving overall team collaboration and engagement. The participants are encouraged to share their thoughts freely, without the fear of judgment or criticism, hence creating an environment that supports the flow of diverse ideas.

What is the purpose of a Brainstorming Meeting?

The purpose of running a brainstorming meeting as a leader is to inspire creativity and collaboration among team members. By facilitating an open and non-judgmental environment, the leader encourages participants to generate fresh ideas and solutions. Through this process, the leader aims to foster innovation, problem-solving, and collective decision-making to drive the team towards success.

How To Run A Brainstorming Meeting: Step-By-Step


Step 1: Determining Objectives

The first crucial step requires the meeting facilitator to thoroughly identify and articulate the meeting’s goals and objectives. The designated leader should comprehend and delineate the precise outcomes which the meeting intends to procure, leading to the successful conclusion of the brainstorming session.

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Step 2: Assemble Participants

Select a varied group of participants for the meeting, encompassing a range of skills and knowledge. The choice of attendees should be strategic, ideally including those whose expertise can contribute significantly towards realizing the meeting’s objectives, thus ensuring valuable input and effective discussions.

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Step 3: Setting Rules

The facilitator, serving as a guide during the meeting, elucidates its principles and fosters an accepting atmosphere devoid of judgment. This person’s role is central in bolstering active participation, ensuring diverse views are respected, and valuing even the most unconventional ideas put forward by team members.


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Step 4: Idea Generation

In this brainstorming phase, each participant is urged to let their creativity flow freely, contributing ideas of significance to the focal topic. The objective is the generation of a vast set of ideas, embracing all, even those that seem radical or unconventional. This approach encourages out-of-the-box thinking, fostering innovation and diverse perspectives. All ideas, irrespective of their nature, are valued at this stage to build a comprehensive and dynamic brainstorming session.

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Step 5: Recording Ideas

When ideas emerge during meetings, it’s essential to capture them for later reference and analysis. Common methods include writing these concepts on a flip chart or whiteboard, or utilizing a digital platform. This not only ensures visibility to all attendees but encourages active participation and idea ownership.

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Step 6: Idea Evaluation

Following the brainstorming stage where all ideas are proposed, the subsequent step involves a comprehensive evaluation of these ideas. This process includes open discussions, necessary clarifications, and occasionally casting votes. The objective is to sift through these ideas to prioritize them effectively. The most promising ideas are identified in this analysis period, incorporating everyone’s perspective to reach a consensual decision which will direct the subsequent course of action.

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Step 7: Follow-up

Upon conclusion of the meeting, the facilitator shoulders the responsibility of consolidating outlined ideas. They disseminate this summary to the participants to reflect upon or devise action plans. Analyzing future needs, they may also propose a subsequent meeting date if further discussions are warranted.

Questions to ask as the leader of the meeting

1. “What problem are we trying to solve?” – This question sets the focus and ensures that everyone understands the objective of the brainstorming session.

2. “What are all possible solutions to this problem?” – This question encourages participants to think creatively and generate a range of ideas, fostering a diverse range of perspectives.

3. “How can we build upon each other’s ideas?” – This question promotes collaboration and helps the group explore and develop ideas collectively, reinforcing the concept of teamwork.

4. “What are the potential obstacles or challenges that we may face?” – This question prompts the group to identify possible barriers early on, allowing for proactive planning and problem-solving.

5. “How can we prioritize the ideas generated?” – This question helps to differentiate between the most impactful and feasible ideas, ensuring that the most valuable solutions receive appropriate attention and that resources are allocated effectively.

6. “Are there any additional resources or expertise we need to consider?” – This question ensures that all necessary elements for implementation are identified, whether it be skill sets, technology, or external support.

7. “How can we test or prototype our ideas before implementing them?” – This question encourages the group to think about testing methods to validate the feasibility and potential success of the selected ideas, minimizing risks associated with implementation.

8. “What is our action plan for moving forward?” – This question prompts the group to define clear steps, responsibilities, and timelines to transform the chosen ideas into actionable plans.

9. “How can we measure the success or impact of our ideas?” – This question promotes accountability and ensures that mechanisms are in place to evaluate the outcomes and effectiveness of implemented solutions.

10. “What have we learned from this brainstorming session, and how can we improve the process for future sessions?” – This question encourages reflection and continuous improvement, making future brainstorming sessions more effective and productive.

As a leader, preparing a brainstorming meeting agenda involves several key steps. Start by defining the objective and desired outcome of the session. Next, identify relevant participants and gather any necessary materials or data. Create a structured format for the meeting, including time allocations for each agenda item. Lastly, communicate the agenda to participants in advance, ensuring everyone is well-prepared and ready to contribute.

How To Prepare For A Brainstorming Meeting
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Topics that should be discussed during a brainstorming meeting include new product or service ideas, marketing strategies, ways to improve processes, problem-solving techniques, identifying and addressing customer pain points, improving customer experience, and exploring innovative solutions to challenges faced by the company.

See Our Brainstorming Meeting Template
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Software tools to facilitate a Brainstorming Meeting

Software helps leaders run brainstorming meetings by providing a structured and organized platform for collaboration. It allows participants to contribute ideas, share documents, and work together seamlessly in real-time. With features like digital whiteboards, voting systems, and task management tools, software streamlines the process, enhances creativity, and ultimately leads to more productive and successful brainstorming sessions.

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Successful brainstorming meetings are an invaluable tool for fostering creativity, addressing issues, and reaching innovative solutions. Providing clear structure, setting appropriate ground rules, ensuring diversity and inclusivity, managing the session efficiently, recording ideas, and following up effectively, can increase the chances of running a productive brainstorming meeting. It’s about balancing the free-flowing nature of idea-generation with structured, professional facilitation. Remember, every idea counts in a brainstorming meeting, and an open, supportive environment can push your team to its full creative potential, leading your organization toward growth and renewed innovation.

Jannik Lindner

I'm Jannik and I write on MeetingFever about the experiences from my career as a founder and team lead.

If you have any questions, please contact me via LinkedIn.

Popular Questions

What is the main purpose of a brain storming meeting?

The primary purpose of a brainstorming meeting is to explore different ideas, solutions, or strategies, towards a specific problem or a project. It encourages creative thinking within a group and nurtures open communication and collaboration.

Who should participate in a brainstorming meeting?

Ideally, a diverse group of individuals should participate in a brainstorming meeting, including people directly associated with the concerned project or problem and those who bring a fresh perspective. This ensures a wide range of ideas and viewpoints are being discussed and considered.

How should ideas be managed or organized during a brainstorming meeting?

Ideas during a brainstorming session should be recorded for everyone to see, either on a board or a shared digital space. No ideas should be immediately dismissed or judged; all thoughts should be encouraged during the ideation stage. Strategies such as clustering can be used to categorize related ideas.

How long should a brainstorming meeting last?

A brainstorming meeting should typically last between 15 to 45 minutes. Extending beyond this time period could lead to fatigue and diminished productivity. It’s important to keep the meeting on task and energized to maintain creativity.

What should be done after a brainstorming meeting?

After a brainstorming meeting, ideas should be reviewed, evaluated, and prioritized. The outlined plan or next steps should be clearly communicated to all participants. It often works well to set a follow-up meeting for these tasks. Feedback and further input can be gathered in the interim.

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