How Paper Can Help Effective Brainstorming in Meetings

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When brainstorming is actioned well it can make a meeting come to life.  Business Optimizer considers tips for ensuring your brainstorming in meetings is
actioned well – and why paper is the best medium.

There are several brainstorming apps available that claim to simulate the brainstorming process but, in practice, they often fail to deliver the same sense of urgency and group involvement that a real brainstorming session facilitated with sheets of paper can engender.

Why is this?

Perhaps it is the limitation of the screen – as you add text digitally, you’re forced to choose between continuously shrinking text sizes or making some section of the contributions “fall off” the screen as you navigate around the document.

Paper solves this problem easily: simply tape up another sheet and keep going.

As the paper grows out across the wall, it provides an immediate sense of focus and stimulation – something that is also lost on a screen, even if it is being cast or projected onto a larger screen.

Plus, when one person is tasked with typing, it can stultify the conversation and reduce engagement. Far better to simply be able to hand over the marker pen and let a colleague add their thoughts to the growing mosaic of flip chart paper spreading across the wall.

Studies have shown that the simple act of writing by hand can boost engagement and this is no less true in brainstorming.

Of course, there are some important rules when setting up a meeting to brainstorm ideas – invite the right people, choose your group size wisely, set the parameters clearly before you start, and create the right atmosphere so everyone feels comfortable contributing. Paper also has another important advantage here: there are no constrictions on