As an HR leader, you need to come up with innovative ways to energize, develop and retain your workforce. You need fresh ideas – many useful ideas – as well as an new method for cultivating those fresh ideas.
In a design thinking process, brainstorming plays a key role in cultivating a plethora of fresh ideas. But we aren’t talking about your average run-of-the-mill brainstorming session, with everyone in the room (hopefully) contributing a single idea out loud, one by one. This is a frenetic, fast-paced process which sets the stage for creativity!
Here are our tips, based on our Breakthrough! Model:
- Clarify the specific problem upfront. Set the problem for the group before you begin to guide the brainstorming process. Examples: How might we redesign the entire end-to-end employee experience of performance reviews? How might we create buzz about our company to a certain demographic, so they know us and know good things about us? How do we ensure that non-comp recognition and rewards are tied to retention? How might we redesign our current leadership development program with Millennials in mind? With multi-generational audiences in mind?
- Encourage imagination. Ask your team to think broadly and creatively. The sky is the limit for ideas!
- Start alone. Give each person some time to write down a bunch of ideas on individual sticky notes by themselves and post for the group.
- Break into small groups. With smaller groups generating ideas at the same time, groupthink can be avoided, one person can’t dominate the conversation, and idea generation potential multiplies.
- Each small group member produces an idea…and another…with limited time. In a small group format, have your team write ideas on sticky notes and share them aloud one by one without comments. Challenge your team to produce more ideas after a period of time.
This brainstorming process will result in a broad, creative list of ideas, from which to cull further.
For additional tips on frenetic brainstorming and culling the list of ideas, download our Executive Guide to Design Thinking or join us in our NEW Using Design Thinking in HR & Talent Management workshop.