Whether you are hoping to gather great ideas, boost enthusiasm, and promote team bonding, brainstorming is one of the best ways to do so! But when you think of brainstorming, a group of people huddle together around the same table might come to mind.
The problem is, in-person gatherings like that are far and few between in the COVID era. But this hasn’t stopped the need for critical brainstorming sessions. And like we’ve had to adapt to online school, online work, and doing just about everything else remotely, virtual brainstorming is another change we are all getting used to.
The need for virtual brainstorming in 2021 and beyond
We know things will return to “normal” eventually. But we also know many of the changes COVID has brought on, especially to the workforce, might not be going anywhere anytime soon.
Employers now see how productive and effective their teams can be from home, and the use for physical coworking spaces might never be what it once was.
Another element of this new virtual lifestyle that will likely stick around is virtual brainstorming. Rather than trying to find a time and space for people to gather, holding these sessions remotely can streamline the entire process.
The benefits of in-person or virtual brainstorming
Before we get into our tips for conducting virtual brainstorming sessions, let’s dig into the benefits of brainstorming in the first place.
Get out of a rut
Anytime your group needs to bust out of a rut, conducting a brainstorming session can work wonders for switching things up. Not to mention, this change of pace is often a welcome break from their other work tasks!
Some of the best ideas that have made the biggest brands what they are came about from brainstorming sessions. Don’t believe us? Click here to read about how Amazon–one of the world’s most successful businesses–uses brainstorming.
As a leader, there are fewer sights more satisfying than seeing your team bond and collaborate. As it turns out, an in-person or virtual brainstorming session is one of the best ways to foster this kind of collaboration and bonding!
When groups work together to come up with ideas, they can feed off one another, create new connections, and strengthen existing bonds.
Promotes critical thinking
The very nature of brainstorming is problem-solving, so it’s no wonder a brainstorming session can promote critical thinking.
Hearing an onslaught of ideas all at once forces us to analyze and interpret what we’re hearing–both important critical thinking skills. During brainstorming sessions, critical thinking skills are put to the test. At the same time, new skills are learned and developed.
So, now you know four of the biggest brainstorming benefits (virtual or otherwise) you are probably ready to experience these benefits for yourself.
How to conduct a virtual brainstorming session
Here’s even more good news: Swift Polling makes it easier than ever to conduct a virtual brainstorming session. In fact, we offer a number of tools for doing so.
Want to tackle one problem at a time? Using a Q&A poll during a virtual brainstorming session can help you get the job done!
Ask your employees or team members a single question at a time. Then, collect their answers to review and get new ideas for solving old problems. Make sure to enable open-ended responses if you want to hear a variety of ideas, rather than limiting respondents to a few options.
Here are a few examples of the kind of questions you can ask during a virtual brainstorming session.
- How can the company save money?
- How should we spend our budget surplus?
- What is the most productive use of our time?
- How can we save on labor?
- What is the biggest challenge you face at work?
- How could the company be more efficient?
Another invaluable tool during a virtual brainstorming session is creating a word cloud. In the past, you may have created a word cloud by hand. But with Swift, responses can be collected and automatically generated into a word cloud, with more common responses being displayed in bigger bubbles.
Online group chat
The ability to interact during a virtual brainstorming session is a must. After all, is it really brainstorming if your team isn’t interacting in some way?
Video chatting isn’t always possible, but most people find live chat is an accessible and convenient option. Team or group members can collaborate via Swift Chat to share ideas, ask questions, and come up with unique solutions to your company’s unique problems.
With Swift Chat, you can even customize your group chat with your company colors and logo to make it one of a kind. Group members can break off into private chats, and you also have the ability to pull your entire team into one big group chat.
The virtual brainstorming tools you need
The need for virtual brainstorming sessions isn’t going anywhere, and the software and tools you need to get it done are here to make them as productive, efficient, and even as fun as possible.