Being involved with a dental team whose members are experienced and effective brainstormers is my idea of a good time!
Such teams can solve anything. It actually is easy for them to tap in to their brilliance and creativity. To them, there are no problems, just solutions waiting to be revealed.
Brainstorming is a way to generate ideas and generates creative problem solving. Input during brainstorming sessions is spontaneous with no restrictions or censorship. Members contribute from a space of freedom and creativity. The level of commitment by the members to implement change is often higher due to the members playing their own role in the establishment of new systems and processes.
There are some important elements to a successful brainstorming group:
Safety when contributing. No judgement or criticism.
Encouragement to participate. Everyone is given time and opportunity, without interruptions. There is no hierarchy at brainstorming sessions and everyone’s input is treated as equally valuable.
Don’t over-talk a topic. Once a solution has been determined, move swiftly to the next topic.
Remain focused on topic. Don’t allow the conversation to trail to less important or irrelevant aspects of the issue.
Establishing effective brainstorming sessions is a straightforward process. If at first there is not a lot of contribution, don’t be disheartened. Safety and trust take time to grow.
- Start with setting aside a regular meeting date so your team can consider items to raise.
- Conduct the meeting in a relaxed and comfortable environment, for example in the waiting room.
- Encourage staff to bring pad and pen so they don’t forget ideas while they are listening to others.
- Appoint a Facilitator. Whose job is to ensure all topics are covered, that all members have the opportunity to speak, that everyone remains focused on topic and that each topic is covered in a timely fashion.
- Appoint a scribe to write down all relevant ideas and decisions.
High energy and creative solutions are accessed and achieved through successful brainstorming. Staff feel valued when their opinions count, therefore brainstorming contributes to great team work and loyalty.
With these kinds of benefits, your team will be calling your brainstorming sessions fun too!