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Brainstorm your way to innovation

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We are in a time where working as a team has never been more important.  Finding solutions to problems and improving ways of working with increasing pressures on time and resources is a challenge and certainly can’t be done effectively in silo.  Collaboration is a critical component in order to encourage innovation.

While the general concept of brainstorming is nothing new, following some general guidelines can help maximise your session’s output. For 35 years, the Post-it® Brand has been synonymous with brainstorming—big and small. Here are a few guidelines we’ve learnt along the way to help keep your team focused, excited and productive.

1. Keep comments positive
Keep comments positive. One of the biggest disruptors to an otherwise great brainstorm is negative feedback. Instead of disagreeing with an idea, turn your attention on to building on it or shaping it in a different way.

2. Know your environment
If you’re working in a plain coloured office just add a pop of colour with some bright Post-it® Super Sticky Notes. If you’re short on space collect ideas on Post-it® Easel Pads. Knowing the parameters of when and where your brainstorm is taking place makes all the difference when generating ideas and energy from your team.

3. Don’t execute too early
Your session hits upon something genius. That’s great, but don’t get lost in that idea just yet. Continue to let your creative session develop and you can come back to the “realities” of that particular idea later. Who knows—you might just hit on an idea that’s even stronger.

4. Always look forward
Ideas are at their strongest when they forget about the past and look to the future. Withstand the impulse to kill an idea based on what has or hasn’t worked in the past and consider what could be reshaped today and possibly solve for tomorrow.

5. Get visual
Nothing helps an idea take hold like a picture.  Draw, sketch and share your idea using Post-it® Products to help translate what’s in your brain—whether it’s a new process or illustrating a word that keeps popping into your head.

6. Get scrumming
Once you’ve got your idea use the Agile/Scrum Model which divides an idea or a project into various modules to be tested which can be delivered in increments. Assemble a small team whose roles represent the entirety of your project — this team will meet often throughout the duration of the project.  Create headers using Post-it® Products for Story (functions/features), To Do, In Process, To Verify and Done. Each team member is responsible for a Story which is colour coded so they can easily visualise which Stories they own.  As the project develops and each Story is actioned the team member responsible can move it until it eventually reaches the Done column.

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