The 10 Rules of Brainstorming

Unlock the Creative Power of Brainstorming & Ideation Sessions

Learn how shark&minnow approaches brainstorming by following The 10 Rules of Brainstorming, part of The Mindset Method developed by the strategy and design consultancy.


What are the rules of brainstorming?

Brainstorming is an exploratory, conceptual and collaborative ideation method for organizations to generate innovative solutions for challenges. With this insight, how do organizations effectively conduct brainstorms and what are the rules for a successful brainstorming session?

  1. Understand the challenge to be brainstormed and be prepared with insights from the Company, Customer, Competition, Climate & Culture (i.e. The Mindset Method). Foundational research and insights will guide your ideation session and serve as the catalyst for creativity
  2. Focus on the challenge to maintain scope and scale
  3. Diverge in thinking by ideating alone in solitude, enabling a different path to think about the challenge
  4. Converge in thinking by ideating as a collaborative team
  5. Assemble a multidisciplinary team to foster creative friction and make the impossible possible, and go beyond the unknown
  6. Visualize ideas to improve perception and cognition. Whether it’s sketching ideas or writing notes on Post-its, document all of your thoughts
  7. Generate concepts and scenarios to inspire creative-thinking and reveal new ideas – as many as possible
  8. Filtrate: Apply strategic filters based on The Mindset Method to encourage divergent thinking within the context of the challenge (e.g. For the Company, idea based on the mission statement, or for Customers, ideate based on specific personas, etc.)
  9. Amplify voices to ensure all ideas are heard, and judgment is silenced. As the adage goes, you never know where a good idea will come from, so hold criticism and evaluations until later
  10. Build on the ideas of all participants in the session – You never know where creativity will take you