When it's done well, brainstorming can be a powerful technique to unleash the creativity of a group and generate unique ideas, insights, and solutions to knotty problems. But as anyone who's been part of a brainstorming session knows, when it's done poorly it can result in groupthink, disengagement, and worrying too much about what your boss or colleagues will think of your ideas.
Leading good brainstorming sessions is hard enough in person, but it can be even more of a challenge with remote groups. Unless your online brainstorming session is well planned and well run, it can end up amplifying the worst aspects of traditional brainstorming while losing the things people enjoy the most, like the buzzing energy of building on others' ideas.
Many members of the Seshboard community are longtime fans of GroupMap, which helps facilitators get around these tricky problems by keeping everyone engaged with the question at hand, ensuring that everyone's ideas see the light of day, and truly unlocking the collective wisdom of the group.
That's why we're excited to announce that Seshboard now integrates with GroupMap, so you can run game-changing brainstorming sessions seamlessly during your online workshops.
What is GroupMap?
GroupMap is a real-time online brainstorming tool designed to help groups think better together. It does this by letting facilitators set up different interactive templates, activities and prompts to structure the brainstorming process and collect participants’ responses.
How does GroupMap work?
GroupMap supports a variety of ways of participating in the discussion, from traditional voting, rating, and rank-ordering of options to more unique methods like posting images, positioning ideas within a template, and adjusting sliders. GroupMap is also highly interactive, making it easy for participants to engage with each other’s input.
These interactions take place on a “map,” which contains the questions, activities and prompts the group will be engaging with over the course of their workshop (or series of workshops).
Facilitators can choose from over 80 templates when designing their map, covering a range of situations from brainstorming to education, focus group work, strategy meetings and more.
Another important quality of GroupMap is that it lets facilitators toggle between various levels of participant anonymity, which helps overcome bias and power dynamics during the brainstorming and decision-making process. This makes GroupMap ideally suited for surfacing the true thoughts and feelings of the group, letting users reach clearer and more effective insights. GroupMap’s structured capturing of responses also makes it easy to prepare summaries and other deliverables for clients and stakeholders afterwards.
How can I get the most out of GroupMap?
GroupMap is a versatile tool, supporting many different types of facilitated group discussions in a variety of settings. Jeremy Lu, one of GroupMap’s co-founders, shared some of the ways facilitators have used GroupMap to improve their experience facilitating online:
People use GroupMap to facilitate their meetings to improve the ease of brainstorming, while improving the quality of decision making. It takes collaboration to the next level by having an agreed process for the conversation, and having a customised template and work flow that supports this. - Jeremy Lu, Co-founder of GroupMap
If you haven’t used GroupMap before, we’d recommend giving it a try!
How do you use GroupMap in Seshboard?
Adding a GroupMap map to your Seshboard room is easy: after creating your map in GroupMap, copy the invite link from GroupMap and add it to your Seshboard room. For more detailed instructions, check out our User Guide article on GroupMap here.