Our clients often ask us to come up with engaging ideas that help them innovate and stand out from the competition. One of our methods to come up with relevant concepts is brainstorming. We unite people with different skills and mindsets, we do proper research before the session, and we frequently bring in our clients. After the brainstorm, our clients often tell us they wouldn’t have imagined coming up with such a list of to-the-point ready to implement and long term ideas within a short timeframe. Sometimes it helps when you get out of your daily work life and comfort zone to get the ideas rolling. Having a brainstorm with your internal team might take up too much time, for instance, because the business needs to keep on running or ideas become so big that you lose your focus. Until now…

Introducing the 15-minute brainstorm that helps you and your team accelerate innovation

Dutch startup Zash created a new and fast brainstorm method that incorporates a proven method with machine learning technology. It uses an online web application to help your team through the different stages of a brainstorm session. As a team leader or facilitator, you set up a brainstorm and invite your team members via their e-mail. The team members can use their own digital device to participate. On a central dashboard, that might be a monitor, TV or projector everyone can see the gathered ideas. The tool collects all the ideas digitally in one place, which means you never lose ideas. Above all, this tool can perform some tricks on the collected ideas using Artificial Intelligence.

Team members also like the way the tool handles ideas so anonymously. Sometimes they feel a bit hesitant in a typical brainstorm session. Now everyone can be free to share thoughts, even the silly ones. And you want those because even wild ideas can spark brilliance.

Problems with brainstorming

There have been countless studies about brainstorming, each with the same result: brainstorming in a group does not work well, normally. The main reasons are a loss in productivity, social problems and lack of creativity. It appears there is a loss in productivity and creativity when people work within a group because people are different. One person wants to elaborate a lot; the other wants to implement early. That leads to social problems as well, such as social loafing when someone is not doing anything because others are doing the work. Lastly, some ideas just come naturally when taking a walk or a shower. If you brainstorm for three hours, you would miss out on those opportunities.

The method

For a rapid brainstorm, we need to accomplish two things: get the participants in a creative vibe fast and give them the opportunity to create as many ideas as possible. An excellent method for this is the nominal group technique. It lets participants generate ideas on their own, before discussing them with each other. Thus, eliminating the problem of productivity loss. It’s also an anonymous way of generating ideas. This is why the 15-minute brainstorm uses the same techniques.

Next to the that, the 15-minute brainstorm utilises time pressure as a technique to get your team members more motivated and creative. That is scientifically proven as well. A special piece of software leads you through the brainstorm and collects ideas digitally. It can eliminate duplicate ideas and merge them. That way, you only see unique concepts on your idea board. Also, the software searches for themes in all the concepts using machine learning. That helps to create an order in the mass of ideas. And themes can be used as an inspiration to create even more ideas.

Faster innovation

Skyne can help you use the 15-minute brainstorm tool on your own, or we can jointly try it out, the next time we have a brainstorm together.