Not everyone is a brainstorming pro and that’s okay. Even if you’re completely new to the brainstorming process can still get a lot out of the Crainstorm web app. Let us introduce you to some of the basics of brainstorming, along with some tips and tricks to make sure you get the most out of your first Crainstorm.

What is a Brainstorm

First things first, a brainstorm is a group discussion that attempts to solve a problem or come up with new ideas. As a contributor, your job is to help work with the team generate ideas and offer potential solutions to your host’s challenge.

Be Prepared

It might feel strange to put time into preparing for a session that is simply about coming up with new ideas in a group. Shouldn’t it all be collaborative and come together on the fly?

Preparing in advance as a contributor can help you kickstart your ideas and develop some thoughts before everyone else chimes in. The more unique ideas you can offer, the more you contribute to the brainstorm’s success.

Timing is Key

What’s your most creative time of the day? A 2011 study suggests that the part of your day that feels the least productive is the best part of the day to get creative.

If you’re a night owl, you’re more likely to have an a-ha moment in the morning, and if you’re a morning person, it might be best to wait until the afternoon.

The slump that comes is marked by a loss of inhibitions that frees up your creativity. By applying for brainstorms that are scheduled at the slow point of the day, you’re more likely to forget about constraints and come up with the type of out-of-the-box ideas that move projects forward.

Know Your Hat

By hat, we don’t mean bowler vs. fedora, we mean innovator vs. executor.

It’s important to understand the purpose of the brainstorm, and your expected role within it. Are you being tasked with innovation and generating ideas? Or are you to focus on execution and planning the best to implement existing ideas? By separating the two tasks, your host can ensure they don’t lose any potential ideas by only innovating to the level at which they can execute.

(insert chart from Proximity Paradox demonstration ceilings and lost potential)

The Lifecycle of a Brainstorm

Every brainstorm has a lifecycle. Anticipating the stages can help you transition and make the most out of every minute.

Stage One – Awkward Start

It can take a while to get a group of strangers to open up and share ideas. As such, your host may begin with a quick icebreaker to give the brainstorm a jumpstart (link to icebreaker post).

Stage Two – Rush

Once the first idea is shared, it often results in a rush of ideas as members gain sudden confidence. Now is the time when the ideas are most likely to flow. If you find your