We need to talk about your last brainstorming session: It was spectacular.
You came prepared with the problem you wanted to solve, facilitated the brainstorm effortlessly, ensured that all voices were heard, and asserted just the right amount of pressure to get the ideas flowing. You left the meeting energized by the ideas presented and delighted to be part of such a creative team.
Of course, that was a week ago, and not much has happened since.
It turns out that while conducting a brainstorming session presents its own challenges, it’s what happens after the brainstorm that really separates the brainstorming warriors from the newbies. In this article, we’ll teach you how to capitalize on all the momentum you generate from your productive brainstorms and transform it into action items that yield excellent results.
Caveat: To have effective action items, you need to ensure your brainstorming session is as effective as possible. If yours could use a little work, don’t worry. We can help. Here are some of our favorite brainstorming resources to help things go smoothly:
- Explore our free brainstorming and ideation templates to maximize your next brainstorming session.
- Check out this blog article with guidance for facilitating a successful brainstorming session.
- Learn our best tips for leveling up your brainstorm sessions.
- Read about different brainstorming techniques to see if a different approach may help your team.
- Dive into different ways to organize group brainstorming, all utilizing Lucid’s expert tools and features.
What’s next: prioritization and organization
Once you’ve finished your brainstorm, you need to prioritize ideas. Start by organizing them.
Brainstorming sessions often generate a large number of ideas, and they can be chaotic and unstructured. Organizing your ideas helps clarify the process by categorizing and grouping related concepts. It lets you see the bigger picture and identify the most promising ideas. When you categorize ideas, you also may start to see different trends emerge, making it easier to make a decision than you may think.
Additionally, organizing your ideas after a brainstorming session allows you to document them systematically. This documentation is valuable for future discussions, decision-making, and problem-solving. It ensures that ideas are not lost or forgotten over time.
Once ideas are organized, developing an action plan for implementing them becomes easier. You can identify the necessary resources, potential challenges, and steps to turn the ideas into tangible outcomes. Organized ideas provide a roadmap for execution.
Convinced? Great. Let’s talk about how.
Different ways to prioritize ideas
Not all ideas are great. By organizing your ideas, you can evaluate and prioritize them based on their relevance, potential impact, and feasibility. This ensures that you focus on the most important and actionable ideas first. Here’s how to organize the ideas your team has generated:
Voting is a great way to get the whole team involved in decisions, which will increase buy-in. Go to the voting box (it looks like a little ballot box with a cute star) at the top of your Lucidspark board, review the options, and set up a voting session for your team.
Ranking is tough to do as a team, but we have some resources to help. Visual Activities make reaching a consensus as easy as viewing results. Identify, sort, and prioritize team ideas in a matter of seconds.
Or, try out some of our free templates. This decision-making template helps you differentiate options by assessing blockers, value, and risk. The impact effort matrix is a simple template that helps you visually prioritize and align priorities by comparing their potential effort and impact. And the 6:1 idea tool template guides you in ranking ideas by categorizing them uniquely. While ranking ideas, don’t forget to consider cost, risk, timelines, value, and urgency.
Make a decision
However you reach your conclusion, at some point, you need to make a decision. Maintain documentation of your process so you can still access the other ideas if you need to pivot or access them later. A systematic way to make a decision can look like this:
Define the decision
Clearly articulate the decision you need to make. Identify the problem, goal, or situation that requires a decision. The more specific and well-defined the decision, the easier to make an informed choice.
Consider all the options generated from your brainstorm. You also want to understand the factors influencing the decision comprehensively.
Evaluate the alternatives
Assess the pros and cons of each alternative. Consider the potential outcomes, risks, benefits, and costs. Utilize critical thinking and objective analysis to evaluate each alternative's feasibility and potential impact.
Make a choice
Based on the evaluation of the alternatives, make a decision by selecting the option that aligns best with your goals, values, and priorities. Trust your judgment and be prepared to take responsibility for the outcome.
It's important to note that decision-making is not always a linear process, and some steps may overlap or require iteration. Additionally, the complexity of decisions may vary, with some requiring more extensive analysis and consultation than others.
Create a plan
Once a decision is made, your job isn’t over. It’s up to you to organize actionable steps and maintain the momentum of the successful brainstorming session. Here’s how to do it:
- Set goals: Using a good template, clearly articulate the specific outcome you want to achieve. Ensure your goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). This clarity will guide your planning process.
- Create documentation for stakeholders: A project planning template is helpful to align collaborators. Consider using Team Spaces to help.
- Create a project timeline: Oh wait—we already made one for you. Just get to work filling it in. Explore our best tips and tricks in this article.
- Present the plan: Schedule a meeting or send a detailed email. This step is important for keeping stakeholders on the same page.
Now that everyone knows the plan, it’s time to share relevant resources, take questions, secure buy-in, and give assignments. A project proposal template can help keep everyone on the same page.
Remember to hold regular meetings or syncs to answer questions and update documentation as you receive updates. All these steps will help ensure your excellent brainstorming session produces the actionability it deserves.
Explore hundreds of templates to jumpstart your work.Go now
7 tips for improving your brainstorming sessions
With a few must-haves and some basic guidelines, you’ll learn how to increase the effectiveness of your brainstorming meetings in no time.
What to do after a brainstorming session
Knowing what to do after a brainstorming session is often more important than getting together to ideate in the first place. If you want to turn a brainstorm into workable ideas, here are some great ways to get started.