Imagine working for a very large multinational company. Your role is in the sales team, and most of your colleagues are very young. You have a regular brainstorming session, with everybody sat around a large board table. This feels uncomfortable, and the silence is almost deafening. In fact, the proverbial tumbleweed can be seen rolling through. But then you remember that you have installed an innovation platform, and start to wonder whether this could be used to brainstorm in a structured, but modern, maybe even youthful way. It is a known fact that brainstorming sessions rarely work, so perhaps this could be an alternative? Brainstorming through keyboard is an innovation in and of itself, after all.
Using the Keyboard to Brainstorm in a Structured, but Productive Way
While brainstorming sessions rarely work, the concept of structured brainstorming is actually very important. It is known that it fosters a culture of creativity. Through brainstorming, you force everybody to think about the same idea, and then you monitor the different things that they do come up with. So how do you apply this with the keyboard?
Your innovation platform is your best friend in this. This is your opportunity to raise an idea and get everybody to think about it, but in a way that does not involve sitting in that boring room around that boring table. Rather, you feed into the potential of the so-called “net generation”, those people born between ’77 and ’88, and like working with digital tools. Young people see digital technology as a part of life, and they use it better than anyone else. This means that they are also more likely to do well with keyboard brainstorming sessions. After all, that is how they communicate themselves, using social media.
There are other benefits to keyboard brainstorming. For instance, it is a known fact that people who are alone, are a lot more creative. That is because they are away from any potential interruptions, do not worry about being shot down, and don’t have to deal with group dynamics and unconscious bias. This means that any company that truly wants to gather high quality ideas should offer people the opportunity to come up with their thoughts and ideas on their own.
All managers know that, in all likelihood, good ideas are being withheld during team meetings, simply because people fear speaking out, rightly or wrongly. By offering the opportunity to brainstorm through an online platform instead, more people will be encouraged to contribute their ideas. Best of all, people can be recognized for this, as comments will start to flow on the ideas that they have posted. Recognition is usually valuable, and particularly for the “net generation” and younger. In fact, the younger people are today, the more likely they are to have grown accustomed to frequent recognition. They collect “likes” on Facebook on “retweets” on Twitter, and so on. For them, online collaboration is now the norm, and companies should use that to their advantage.