Remote Brainstorming In The Age of Remote Working

Remote brainstorming

Brainstorming, as we all know, is a vital element in every business. Bringing together various points of view, encouraging critical thinking, and building non-judgmental and progressive team connections are its prime aspects. Organizations arrange for brainstorming sessions from time to time for generating ideas.

This was the usual scenario, pre-lockdown. In this new age of COVID-19, we are socially distanced and working remotely from various locations. As working from anywhere and everywhere has become the new norm, brainstorming sessions need to be modified as well!

To start with, let us point out some requisites for Virtual or Remote Brainstorming –

  1. Exhaustive use of appropriate collaborative tools, techniques, and technologies
  2. Clear definition of the topic’s purpose
  3. Scheduling the session beforehand & setting a time limit
  4. Appointment of an enabler
  5. Send out follow-up

Note, working from remote locations has provided us with one advantage. Now it is more convenient to engage a larger pool of employees in a brainstorming session in comparison to the office brainstorming sessions due to time and availability constraints then. But it is vital to identify the desired expertise and select participants accordingly. It is better to pick from a diverse pool because only then can one guarantee different mindsets, distinctive perspectives, and varied problem-solving skills.

Scheduling meetings can be demanding when employees are working from remote locations, whereas brainstorming is not. To devise beneficial ideas, the team does not need to be together physically. People tend to think in different ways when they are alone. So, each member can ideate separately, and an enabler can document all the ideas before any discussion. The entire list can then be circulated several times within the group to rule out some ideas every time and finally come up with the most efficient and promising solution to the problem by the end of the session.

Going by the construal-level theory, employees being distant from each other as well as the problem location, tend to think more abstractly about the problem. Such abstraction in the initial stage can prove to be beneficial for finding various correlations for providing necessary insights. Not being able to present specific and effective solutions can be a problem with remote brainstorming as it is not easy to work with absolutely general and unclear ideas.

By keeping a close tab on the present situations all over the world, it can be undoubtedly said that companies will have more than enough problems in the coming days to solve. Hence, even if working remotely, brainstorming needs to be perfected. Some tips here –

  1. New ideas being fragile, handle them with care, and keep a check on your demeanor.
  2. There may be differences in time zones, so take time and conduct the sessions in bursts.
  3. Rather than making and sharing boring spreadsheets, make the brainstorming sessions livelier by being visual.
  4. Refrain from putting people on any spot and let them come up with innovative ideas.

When you onboard the best brainstorming tools and techniques along with the most efficient participants, your ideas are bound to grow. Whether you are conducting a brainstorming session in your office conference room or from your drawing room couch, the effective concoction of various competent ideas will undoubtedly dig out results for the company.

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