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How to Facilitate a Brainstorming Session That Gets Great Results

Brainstorming sessions are a powerful tool for generating fresh ideas and solving complex problems. By following best practices for facilitation, agenda setting, and follow-up, you can ensure your team's brainstorming meetings are productive, engaging, and result-oriented. This guide provides actionable tips to help you get the most out of your brainstorming sessions.

How to Facilitate a Brainstorming Session That Gets Great Results


Brainstorming sessions are an essential part of any organization's innovation and problem-solving process. When facilitated effectively, these meetings can generate groundbreaking ideas and drive your team towards success. However, without proper planning and execution, brainstorming sessions can quickly become unproductive and frustrating for participants.

team brainstorming ideas on whiteboard

Preparing for a Brainstorming Session

Before diving into a brainstorming meeting, it's crucial to lay the groundwork for success. Start by clearly defining the purpose and objectives of the session. What problem are you trying to solve, or what opportunity are you looking to explore? Communicate this information to participants ahead of time, so they can come prepared with relevant ideas and insights.

Next, consider who should be involved in the brainstorming session. Aim for a diverse group of participants with different backgrounds, expertise, and perspectives. This diversity can lead to more innovative and well-rounded ideas.

Finally, choose an appropriate meeting room etiquette that fosters creativity and collaboration. Consider factors such as room layout, lighting, and access to necessary tools and resources.

Setting the Agenda

A well-structured agenda is key to keeping your brainstorming session on track and productive. Start with a brief introduction that reiterates the purpose and objectives of the meeting. Then, establish clear ground rules for participation, such as encouraging open-mindedness, avoiding criticism, and building upon each other's ideas.

brainstorming session agenda on notepad

Break the session into distinct phases, such as idea generation, discussion, and prioritization. Allocate sufficient time for each phase, but be prepared to adjust the schedule if needed. Consider incorporating various brainstorming techniques, such as mind mapping, role-playing, or reverse brainstorming, to keep participants engaged and stimulate creative thinking.

Facilitating the Session

As the facilitator, your role is to guide the brainstorming process and ensure everyone has the opportunity to contribute. Encourage participants to share their ideas freely, without judgment or criticism. Use open-ended questions and prompts to stimulate discussion and explore different angles of the problem or opportunity.

Be mindful of group dynamics and watch for signs of domination, disengagement, or conflict. If necessary, intervene to ensure all voices are heard and the session remains productive. Keep the energy level high by maintaining a positive and enthusiastic tone, and take breaks as needed to prevent burnout.

facilitator leading brainstorming session

Following Up After the Session

The work doesn't end when the brainstorming session concludes. It's essential to capture and organize the ideas generated during the meeting. Consider using a flexible workspace tool or software to document and share the session's output with participants and relevant stakeholders.

Prioritize the ideas based on their potential impact, feasibility, and alignment with organizational goals. Assign next steps and responsibilities for further developing and implementing the most promising ideas. Regularly follow up on progress and provide updates to keep the momentum going.


By following these best practices for facilitating a brainstorming session, you can harness the collective creativity and expertise of your team to drive innovation and solve complex challenges. Remember, effective brainstorming requires careful preparation, a well-structured agenda, skilled facilitation, and consistent follow-up. With these elements in place, you'll be well on your way to achieving great results from your brainstorming sessions.

successful team celebrating after brainstorming session

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