There are a number of ways to promote creativity (kick-your-creativity-killers-to-the-curb), but getting any brainstorming event off on the right foot is one surefire to get your team’s creative juices flowing. Below are 6 tips to help you set the right tone for your group.

1 – Set an agenda. You don’t want to stifle your session with too much structure, but forging ahead without some type of framework will likely waste the team’s time through socializing or, at the very least, talking about what they’re supposed to be talking about.


2 – Establish at least one solid objective for the session. Whether you want to resolve a problem, rethink an outdated process, or figure out a way to beat your competitor to the punch, the team should be working toward something specific.


3 – Appoint a facilitator. An experienced facilitator doesn’t edit or dismiss ideas. Instead, their role is to help the team flesh out ideas, keep track of solutions that should be investigated further, and maintain a focus on the session’s objective(s).


4 – Eliminate unwanted distractions. Turn off cell phones when possible (put them on vibrate at a minimum), instruct the receptionist to send calls to voicemail, close the room’s internal blinds if they have them, shut the doors, and screen off unused spaces.


5 – Bring everything you need. Coffee, sales forecasts, pens and paper—if someone in the group needs to leave during the session to fetch these things, it could disrupt the team’s creative flow.


6 – Pick the right time of day. Immediately after lunch is often not the best time for an active brainstorming session. Instead, consider mid-morning (after everyone has had a chance to respond to e-mails) or early afternoon (before folks start thinking about winding down for the day).

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