Ever been in a brainstorming session that doesn’t come up with many ideas, or when brainstorming only comes up with a few ideas? Next time try this: have your session participants brainstorm ahead of their ideas around the topic, whatever it is. They mail you their ideas. You copy and paste it into a word cloud generator. Voila!
Present and validate their word cloud with them as a group, and decide what to do with whatever ideas float to the top.
(Remember: decisions include who does what by when. Otherwise you’re just making a choice that nobody will actually do anything about.)
Now you can avoid group think, and let people be creative on their own, but any convergence (and there usually is more than some) has more credibility.