Hack Your Brainstorm : 3 Quick Tips For Bigger Ideas

April 10, 2019

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Nora Herting facilitated a visual thinking workshop at Cannes Lions Health, 2017.

ProTips To Re-think Your Brainstorm

How many times have you entered a brainstorm meeting hoping for brilliance, but left it with the same stale ideas from last quarter? No matter your industry, when you gather your best thinkers for big thinking, you need to get serious about expanding your ideation sessions in an engaging way. We know that when you’ve been running a team for a long time, it’s sometimes hard to find a fresh approach to old challenges. 

In the run up to our upcoming workshop with AdClub, A guide to re-thinking brainstorming and brief-making,” our co-founder and Principal, Nora Herting will bring to life ImageThink’s insights and our creative approach that has led to breakthrough brainstorms and big ideas with some of the most prestigious brands in business.  

We’re sharing a few quick tips for inspiring original ideas: 

1.Make it active:

One of our favorite neuroscientists, Wendy Suzuki, reveals in her research that exercise stimulates the prefrontal cortex, the location for our high-level cognitive functions. Frame up the challenge and then ask everyone to take a brisk 10-minute walk before jumping into idea generation. Or hold the session with everyone standing.

Protip: Instead of a dedicated notetaker, get everyone out of their seat by switching off scribes every half hour or so. 

2.Keep it short and simple to steer away from stale contributions: 

Brainstorming sessions and group discussions can yield tremendous results – but they can also easily devolve into time-wasting chaotic environments. Sometimes in order to think outside the box, you need to set some brainstorm parameters. Believe it or no, some of the most creative minds work best with constraints. So, challenge the group to brief brainstorming sprints.  

Protip: Try a countdown clock for a sense of urgency.  

3.Avoid group think: 

Sometimes less is more. Before jumping into a group discussion, allow time for individual reflection and brainstorming. Once complete, ask each person to share out. This ensures that introverts and extroverts alike have a chance to share their ideas, and helps level out hierarchies that might exist in the group.  

Protip: Watch how we used creative thinking techniques with small business owner Beth Shaeffer to empower her to run a visual thinking session herself. 

At ImageThink, we believe that ‘Creative’ shouldn’t be limited to the product- but expanded to the collaborative process.  

Curious how visual thinking might help your best thinkers innovate and communicate better and faster? Get in touch to learn more.  


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