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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Follow the DOVE When Brainstorming

Brainstorming as a team often generates a great number of thoughts and ideas in a short period of time. This technique truly demonstrates the value of team problem-solving. A few points to remember during the brainstorming session are summed up in the acronym DOVE:

Defer judgement - accept all ideas, list everything, evaluate later.
Off-beat ideas encouraged - opt for original and creative suggestions
Vast number of ideas is the goal - get as many ideas as possible, the more the better
Evaluate ideas later - expand and build on each other's ideas

There are some basic tools that can be helpful for brainstorming sessions to be effective. These are: white board, sketch paper, notebook, pens, pencils, markers, construction paper and most importantly, a clear mind. Depending on the type of problem you are solving, you can even incorporate Legos or other building blocks. Physical items can help with finding the solution.

It is important to remember you don’t need a big fancy meeting space to initiate a brainstorming session. It can be a group where everyone pulls up their chairs and shouts out ideas while the facilitator jots them down and moves the session along. At the same time, comfort and time are important. When you hold a session, make sure the room allows people to get up and move about freely while limiting other outside noises and distractions. Ask that everyone turn their electronic devices on silent to reduce distractions.

These guidelines can assist in the creation of an environment where all ideas are valued and where employees listen effectively to others' and value each others' opinions.

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