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What brainstorming techniques will work remotely?

When I think about all the ways I have helped groups generate innovative ideas in face-to-face sessions, there is no question; it is a challenge to consider how one could effectively use virtual brainstorming. 

Rather than going all-in with technology, I make sure that all visual aids, whether images, scenarios, or provocative questions, are in front of participants to help trigger ideas. I send out these materials in advance and use web conferencing tools to guide people through the exercises.

How can we hear from all participants?

Web collaboration tools can make a difference in engaging the whole group and rapidly gathering and documenting all ideas. I love to mix online brainstorming with in-person conversation to keep people engaged and on track.

How many people can participate simultaneously?

The great thing is you can invite as many people to participate as you wish. The key to success is to set up different communication channels for each virtual region and as only one person per team/region to present at a time. Web conferencing technologies are improving daily and significantly expand the options for offline and online participation.

How comfortable are participants in collaborating remotely?

If virtual teams are already part of the culture, you’re more likely to have enthusiastic participation for remote brainstorming. Make sure participants feel confident and competent in their abilities to generate innovative ideas from afar. 

To what extent will different cultures affect participation?

In some cases, the use of a computer keyboard to describe ideas is more natural than making verbal contributions in a large-group setting. Know what cultures will be represented, familiarize yourself with cultural factors that may affect participation, and plan your sessions accordingly. For example, when working with a culture that emphasizes the importance of hierarchy, you may want to enable anonymous contributions.

What brings the magic to virtual brainstorming?

Graphic recording during the session is magic in virtual brainstorming sessions! 

A graphic recording artist using an iPad, which then makes the images visible to all participants creating an incredibly memorable and engaging experience for all the guests.

Here are just a few reasons why; 

  1. Increases understanding of concepts and agreements and gets everyone onto the same page. 
  2. Elegantly handles different points of view.
  3. Increases the level of dialogue … quicker!
  4. Participants involve all the major learning styles.
  5. The graphic creates excellent meeting documentation

If you would like to discuss or book a virtual session, contact us @ Marilyn@barefootbrainstorming.com

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