Online Brainstorm

Without being face-to-face it can be hard to benefit from all the wisdom of a group. However, that doesn’t make it impossible. This tool is a way to efficiently get input from the group by getting everyone to open a shared online document and write ideas.

How to create a lot of ideas in a hurry

This method is simple enough: while on a phone call or video chat, have everyone open up a Google document (or other shared text editing space –– wikis, etc.). The facilitator gives a question for everyone to answer.

For example, the 350 Trainings Team has used online brainstorming to solicit ideas on a new project. The facilitator asked: “What do you need this project to achieve? I’ll give everyone about five minutes to write a response.” Each person typed their name and then an answer to the question.

During the brainstorm session, the facilitator even wrote follow-up questions (“what’s an example of that?” or “do you mean…”) to the people as they were typing.

The result: in only five minutes, as much information was generated as would have taken thirty minutes or more if each person had spoken!

You can use online brainstorm to generate all kinds of things:

  • tactics
  • solutions to a strategic problem
  • feedback on a presentation
  • questions that need to be answered
  • ideas to bring new people into the group
  • and, of course, more!

And go ahead and create your own! You get the idea!