When you go to brainstorm with your teams, your first challenge is not the soft and hard thinking. Your first challenge is getting your team to the table. The key to a good brainstorming session is the attitude that your team comes to the table with. If they come with their guards up and a skeptical attitude you will not see the creative open discussion you are looking for.
So as you prepare for your brainstorming sessions, here are a few tips:
1. Meet with your team and give them the big picture outside of the brainstorming session
2. Establish an environment of participation by affirming that their input will count
3. Differentiate between good critical thinking and a negative critical attitude
4. Show a timeline and milestones that can show the pathway to success