Problems and the Power Within Organisations 1

Brainstorming can release the power within organisations to solve problems

As a business coach and marketing strategist working with SMEs, I often work as a fresh pair of eyes on existing problems. Here through the simple act of discussion, the individual or group gains insight and solutions for the things that are worrying them. Sometimes it’s also the things that they are unaware of, which are threatening to come back and bite them. Here the technique of brainstorming is useful.

Self and Organisational Restriction

One of the easiest techniques to release the power within organisations is brainstorming. The first challenge to overcome is individual and organisational reluctance. The latter is particularly true where there are strong hierarchies. As an individual, I need to know I can seemingly contradict my boss by coming up with multiple and different ideas. These probably are not about the way it is done now. Organisationally, it’s about everyone in the room being equal as part of the team.

It’s also why brainstorming must always get the ideas out there first; however silly they may seem. Write every idea down, so all can see. Wherever possible pass around something physical even just a piece of paper, as it empowers the holder to talk when it’s ‘their turn’. From the object and the shared writing down, different types of people have 2 potential triggers to enable all to participate ideas.

Evaluation Gives Insight

This makes the next stage easier as it’s about evaluation and judgment. Here the facilitator (not the senior person there) ensures few individuals simply fold when discussing their idea. They need to be encouraged to explain why in whatever terms. This provides insight as we all think differently.

The various insights can provide part of the solution. More typically they assist in defining the real problem that needs solving. Any problem typically has an interlinked range of attributes. An individual may only focus on the areas where they feel comfortable; not on the ones where real differences can be made. Using discussion and questioning makes this less likely.

What is the Problem?

The biggest problem with problem-solving for businesses is in defining the real problem. That is why using an external person free to ask difficult or different questions, is so useful. To be effective, the answers should come first from within the organisation working as a team, hence brainstorming activities. Then seek further information to deliver a workable solution.