SETsquared Blog

7 secrets for better brainstorming

Some top tips from David Ager @ Harvard Business School and another set of shots from life in Boston.

The Campus 'T' stop. Harvard and MIT are separated by one stop on the underground.

1. Sharpen the focus - Start with a well defined goal or problem you wish to solve.

A shot of me mid way through a brainstorming session in KC which went on for 7 (highly productive) hours. Some of my best thinking gets done in the 'wee small hours'.

2. Playful rules - Reminders to generate ideas first, evaluate and criticise later.

The view from my Boston hotel room over the Charles River Basin. We had superb weather in Boston and it was always nice to be up to see the sunrise.

3. Number your ideas - Motivates everyone and enables quick referencing.

Working in the Harvard Faculty Club - Skypeing England from the 'Reading Room'. The harvard campus has some beautiful buildings with luxurious interiors. It truly lived up to my mental visualisation.

4. Build and jump - Decide when to build momentum or when to switch gears.

Another shot of Harvard's rather fancy interiors.

5. The space remembers - write down your ideas on something that everyone can see easily (flip charts, walls etc).

A cold day walking around Cambridge

6. Stretch your mental muscles - do some warm up work, eg. talking to customers, reading articles etc.

One of the many networking events we attended. This time a splendid lunch laid on at Harvard's Faculty Club.

7. Get physical - use 3 dimensions to spur your thinking eg. bring products, models etc.

More of the Cambridge campus scenery.
And finally an image taken while walking home from our last night of lectures in Boston.