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Think Outside The Box? Maybe Not!

‘Think outside the box,' is obviously a phrase you have heard a countless number of times, in the middle of brainstorming sessions or in a position of generating new ideas. We’ve been trained to play the ‘numbers’ game in the creative process, to populate the wall with as many ideas as possible until one sticks yet these wayward brainstorms more times than not can cast you far from a viable solution.

It is a major concern that many brainstorming sessions fail because they exist without any structure. In as much as original thinking is often spurred by escaping our traditional line of thinking, the ‘box,’ we must grasp some restraints to ground idea generation. In some ways, we must still adhere to a box, but one that we construct ourselves.

Here is how to build the right ‘box’ for an effective brainstorming session:

-Keep the Brainstorming Team Small

-Diversity is Key: Gather people from different backgrounds, experiences, and interests. The best ideas happen when unique opinions, on an equal playing ground, are allowed to ‘spar’ a bit.

-Put Together the Right Set of Questions: Sometimes, certain questions that “frame” the discussion are helpful.

-Set Specific Goals For The Brainstorming Sessions: Cramming too many deliverables into a single brainstorming session is bound for mediocrity.

-Leave The Session With Action Steps

Boxes aren’t bad, as long as it’s a box that has structure, one that your team has built on its own.

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