Having regular brainstorming sessions with your colleagues, employees and management team can be a great way to identify strengths and weaknesses; problems and opportunities. Unfortunately, within many businesses these kinds of meetings are often inefficient and unproductive. Week after week we organize brainstorming sessions with our team members in conference rooms and cafeterias in order to come up with brilliant new ideas for developing the business. Managers dash in from another meeting, plan for the next one with senior management while they’re there, and dash off long before any flash of brilliance occurs. Employees simply view these as good breaks to get away from the grind of work and catch up on some day dreaming. In short, nothing useful comes out of them. So how do we make these sessions effective and get everyone involved in the planning process? Here’re some tips:

  • Stop talking AT your employees and start talking TO them. Get them involved by making them feel like they have a chance to make a huge contribution towards the company’s future. Incentives for the best ideas are often a good way to generate interest.
  • Spell out in clear and easy terms the goal behind the planning strategy. Don’t be vague and confuse the team by setting random targets. Better ideas will result when employees know what is the specific goal that needs to be met
  • Set concrete action items and assign specific responsibilities at the end of each meeting to ensure that there is productive output.
  • Set time deadlines and implement a way to track results and evaluate progress.