You are gathered in a room with a facilitator and sticky notes are flying. You hope that after the session, you’ll be able to tackle your problem to solve with new ideas.
The main goal in a brainstorming (also known as ideation) session, is to generate as many ideas as possible, before filtering them to find an final solution. The challenge however, is that there is always THAT ONE PERSON who dominates the session. If the facilitator is not aware, the extrovert of the room will soon takeover.
Here are some tips to ensure a successful brainstorming session:
- Ensure the attendee list consists of a wide variety of backgrounds, personalities and outlooks
- Make sure you find a seasoned facilitator who knows how to go “off script” if he/she realizes the participation from the attendees is lop-sided
- Include “games” where people are given a turn to share their opinions
- Have a timer so that each comment can only last 30 seconds
- Include exercises where the attendees can brainstorm by themselves and jot down ideas, in order to share the one good idea.
Epiphanies strike all the time in the entrepreneurial mind.
I’m sure you’ve felt it. You may be in the shower, about to sleep, or in an awkward social situation and BAM! On the surface you may have a fantastic idea – the answer that all humanity has been waiting for. But then, before you know it, the bubble bursts. This is an example of an #entrepreneurfail.
What happened? You may have done some research and realized that Google/Amazon/[insert any publicly-traded company name here] has already tried and failed at that idea. Or, you may have found that there are just no paying consumers. Or, even worse, you find that there are already 5 copycats in the market, each one undercutting the rest.
An entrepreneur’s dilemma is never about not enough ideas; it’s about filtering the flood of ideas. If you have a great idea, remember what you need instead is a great “problem to solve”. Only then can you find the clients and customers that are willing and able to pay for your products and services. Also, consider scoring your ideas using key criteria such as sustainability, barriers to entry, and competitive threats.
If you are a true entrepreneur, these spurts of idea excitement won’t ever stop. As new ideas crop up, we’ve learned to always do our due diligence, focus on our point of difference, and remember that it’s the execution that really matters.
Have you ever been inspired with an amazing idea, just to be bitten by reality? Tell us about it in the comments below.
This comic and post was adapted from www.entrepreneurfail.com.