In today's competitive world, people tend to focus so much on productivity that creativity and innovation take a back seat. Brainstorming is a very effective way of coming up with new ideas and solutions that can be very elusive in the business world. The idea is to get the creative input of all everyone concerned - not just a few top-level managers - which will certainly mean more and better ideas. Here are few tips to ensure a successful brainstorming session:

Start on A Light Note

This will help everyone to relax and loosen up a bit before beginning to tackle a specific business problem. When people think with a free mind, they are more likely to come up with good ideas and solutions.

Have an Effective Leader

Contrary to popular belief, the leader of the session should not force their ideas on others, but make creative and supportive statements and comments. The only rule in a brainstorming session is that all ideas should be put forth in an unbiased way, no matter how silly a suggestion may seem to be. There should be no need for anyone to defend his or her ideas at this stage. The goal is to come up with ideas that had not been considered before. Remember, in a brain storming session, there are no bad ideas!

Trust Your Feelings

Everyone should say what's on his or her mind. That's the only way to have an effective brainstorming session. People should be encouraged to think outside the box. There should be one person who takes down all the ideas - better still, the whole session can be taped so that effective notes can be taken later.

Brainstorming is a good way for everyone in your business to feel heard and involved. Employees have to feel invested in your company before loyalty can be expected of them.