Spice Up Your Brainstorming Sessions This Holidays


How do you maintain productivity in the office without killing the holidays buzz your employees have going on? In our previous article, we’ve talked about conducting brainstorming sessions instead of launching new initiatives.

But brainstorming doesn’t work as efficiently as you would like. Yet, the holidays are the best time of the year for idea generation – the brain, when in a state of relaxation, has more space for creativity and ingenuity.

So how do you take advantage of it? Turn brainstorming into a game.

Called the “Note and Vote” and used by the Google team, this brainstorming session only lasts 15 minutes in total.

  1. Start by providing pen and paper to everyone in the room.
  2. Using a timer, give them 5 minutes to scribble down as many ideas. Encourage creative freedom.
  3. Once the time is up, set the timer for another 2 minutes to allow them to review and pick two ideas they like most.
  4. One at a time, each person shares their top ideas while an assigned person records them all on a board. There’s no need to explain or sell the ideas.
  5. Once all the ideas are up, it’s time to vote for the best one. Allow 5 minutes for each person to mull over the best choice.
  6. There should always be a decider who has the last say in the decision. What if there’s a tie?

It’s not the best method for brainstorming, but you’ll find that you have a lot more ideas in a short time. And unlike traditional brainstorming, “Note and Vote” gives every person a say without having them voice out their opinions – great for introverts – and allows for more options to be considered.

“Note and Vote” does away with the shouting that sometimes turns into intense discussions, keeping the mood lighthearted and perfect for the holiday season. Try it out with your team. You might just get a solid idea for 2015.


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