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#BusinessTipTuesday – Swap Ideas Day

Happy #BusinessTipTuesday! September 10thwas Swap Ideas Day! This holiday encourages people to get together and share their ideas. The collaboration of creative minds allows for thoughts and concepts to be bounced off one another. People benefit from hearing others ideas and skills; in fact an idea shared by one person can spark new concepts within the group creating opportunities for everyone. This is a holiday that should most definitely be celebrated in your small business!

Not only do brainstorming sessions generate new ideas for your small business, but they also promote teamwork within the business. Whether it be a brainstorming session with a purpose or just a gathering to talk over ideas, everyone essentially must work together to provide a positive and beneficial outcome. If the brainstorming session has a purpose everyone must agree on the final proposal. Or if it is a session that just gathers people to talk, people must be open and willing to listen because if they are not the environment will not be conducive to sharing ideas. Regardless, employees are learning and practicing how to work together.

Additionally, brainstorming could be used as a way to solve problems. By having more than one mind tackle the impossible, the likelihood of solving the problem is much greater. As well, having a group of people allows for different perspectives and angles, so there may be many different ways to solve a problem that you may not have thought about before.

Along with the listed ways brainstorming can help your small business, it is obviously a great way to generate ideas. By sharing ideas, thoughts, concepts, skills with each other you are creating an environment that holds the opportunity to either create new ideas, build upon previous ideas, and then take action on ideas. Since the day is all about swapping ideas, here are a few reminders for effective brainstorming:

  • Remind the group that everyone and all ideas are valuable! You want to have a respectful and supportive environment that allows everyone to have a voice. As well, hearing from everyone is important so make sure those that normally take the lead, let the soft-spoken team members have a turn.
  • Use different brainstorming techniques! There are many different practices when it comes to sharing ideas including the round robin approach, step ladder technique, starbursting, rapid ideation, and figuring storming. Google each of these methods before your next brainstorming session to learn more about them and then try something new!
  • Make the session exciting! You can either try a new location or spice up the normal pen and paper meeting. Instead of having your next brainstorming session at the conference table like it always is, move it to somewhere new and exciting like a park or museum. The change of scenery can spark fresh and new ideas. You can add excitement to the session by using different art supplies, trying new technologies, or making everyone sit in a seat they normally don’t sit in.

In honor of Swap Ideas Day get your team together and swap all of your ideas! Don’t forget to use brainstorming as a technique for team building and problem solving as well. And remember, try some different types of brainstorming techniques and add new twists to brainstorming sessions. If your small business comes up with some great ideas during the swap and you need some help putting them in motion, call us at the University of Scranton Small Business Development Center! We are happy to help!

Danielle Guari
Business Consultant
The University of Scranton
Small Business Development Center

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