Photo by Mimi Thian
Brainstorming workshops help solve a number of challenges, source new products, procedural improvements and more. Combined with the fact that more and more teams work distributed, hosting brainstorming workshops online has become an important skill.
Here are some simple tips that you can follow, to start improving the quality of your online brainstorming workshops today.
As some of your participants are joining using web conference, having a clear objective is key. Make sure you present it and allow for questions at the very start of the workshop. This is of course true for a workshop only hosted on site, but when adding remote participants the importance increases. This is because the opportunity for quick, whispered questions to you, or a colleague, on what you really should do, is almost non-existing.
If this is your first, or one of your first, online brainstormings, make sure you practise. All your tools, both digital and analogue, needs to feel familiar to you. Also try to get a sense of timing for each activity as time management is critical. Remember to ensure your internet connection is stable and that your participants will hear and see without issue.
By putting your participants in groups, and assign each group a secretary, you ensure discussions and social interaction even if the workshop is done via a web conferencing tool.
By combining analogue tools, like post-its and LEGO, with a digital tool for sharing, voting and clustering, you create something truly powerful. Your participants can at some intervals leave their devices to use their hands, sketch or do roleplays, and then use their devices to instantly share their findings with the group.
One of the biggest mistakes among facilitators is leaving your participants in the dark as soon as the workshop is done. Avoid them feeling exploited by sharing the results quickly afterwards. A tool like Idea Hunt, providing you with a guaranteed outcome in a digital format can really help you with this.