6 tips for more efficient strategy sessions

Instead of haphazardly throwing ideas at the wall, set clear expectations and guidelines before you meet. Also, keep the groups small—and don’t skimp on snacks.

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That’s not to say group strategy sessions aren’t crucial. They give junior employees the chance to shine, senior employees the opportunity to flex their creative muscles and teams the chance to create cohesive, inspired plans for clients. However, fruitful, productive gatherings require structure, preparation and planning.

Here are six ways to keep your team on track and conduct better, more effective brainstorming sessions:

1. Set expectations ahead of time.

Some people shine during brainstorming; others need more pushing. Either way, it’s not the brainstorm moderator’s responsibility to make sure everyone feels involved—it’s up to employees to jump into the conversation.

The best way to push employees to get involved is to set guidelines and expectations ahead of time, expressing how vital it is they come prepared to speak up.

2. Provide pre-meeting materials.

To ensure that everyone’s prepared, share briefs, outlines or bullet points ahead of the gathering. This gives employees a head start, and it gives them the opportunity to do their own “brainstorm before the brainstorm.” Introverts, especially, will appreciate the opportunity to thoroughly review the agenda to prepare thoughts ahead of time.

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