Great ideas can arise at any time. Just don't pin your hopes on a brainstorming meeting. An article in the December 2007 issue of Harvard Business Review urges managers to replace the free-for-all of a brainstorming session with a more narrowly defined exercise. Set clear boundaries to direct your team's creative focus. Pose a question that rivets their attention on a specific issue. Then lead them to resolve that issue.
Example: Rather than tell them to "let your ideas run wild" regarding new marketing strategies, ask, "Given our marketing budget of $75,000, how can we plant our message in the minds of our target audience?"