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facilitate — Brainstorming

Unleash creativity with focused idea generation FacilitatePro™ provides an electronic flipchart to capture ideas. Type your idea into an electronic notepad and post it to the flip chart along with the ideas contributed by everyone else. Add as many new items as you want or build on existing ones. Ideas can include links to Web sites, text, data or image files, or e-mail accounts. All this with no user training and just a web browser.

  • Collect ideas from an unlimited number of participants simultaneously.
  • Use headlines and details to make your point more clearly.
  • Add ideas during a meeting or come back later to add to the discussion.
  • Make ideas anonymous or attributed as appropriate to the discussion topic.

brainstorming meetingEmpirical studies have shown that electronic brainstorming generates more and better ideas, due to the combination of parallel idea generation, more open group discussion and the ability to organize ideas and make immediate decisions. Decisions are made with a higher degree of consensus and a higher likelihood of implementation success.

A word about anonymity Anonymity during brainstorming and idea generation changes the group dynamic; it tends to make people more open about sharing their ideas, less concerned about whether their idea is “good enough” and more prepared to risk something out of the ordinary. Anonymity can also help people listen to other people's ideas, stripping away assumptions about hidden agendas, personalities and biases and allowing people to focus on what is actually being said. In some instances, not often, anonymity could cause problems. If a group is already talking behind each other's backs or not taking responsibility for their opinions then anonymous brainstorming may exacerbate the behavior. It is important to determine when anonymity will support your meeting outcomes and when it would get in the way.

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