“Power Slack”—A New Way to Virtually Brainstorm: Why We Invented It and How We Do It

Associate participates in Power Slack remote brainstorming session.

What if there was a way to have an effective, fully remote, company-wide brainstorm over a span of just 15 minutes? A way to quickly extract ideas from your organization’s most creative, innovative minds? There is. And at BARR, we call it a “Power Slack”—a new way to virtually brainstorm. 

Power Slacks can be replicated across all kinds of messaging apps, but we’ll tell you how we implement it using, you guessed it, Slack

What is a Power Slack?

It is a 15-minute, focused brainstorm held entirely on Slack within a designated channel. As many employees as possible can attend the brainstorm during its designated time, or they can contribute later if unable to attend during the scheduled time frame. The Power Slack leader asks three questions, each at five-minute intervals, and employees input their ideas as replies to each question. Given the small investment of time, employees are more likely to attend and participate and, in our experience, generate more ideas than ever before. We’ve used Power Slacks to brainstorm ideas for marketing campaigns, blog content, company culture activities, and more. 

Why is this better than a Zoom brainstorm?

In addition to being a major time saver for your employees, it also creates a searchable archive of ideas that can be referenced easily by the Power Slack leader. This format allows associates to enhance each other’s ideas and even upvote them using various emojis. There’s also no chance of people talking over each other because no one can dominate the conversation. More introverted employees can easily weigh in. Bonus: It’s an easily accessible brainstorming session so employees who are unable to tune in during the designated time frame can hop into the channel later to review ideas, add their own, ask questions, and more. 

Love this idea! How do I lead one?

Here’s a high-level overview of how to lead a Power Slack, but please contact us if you’d like more details or have questions. First, you’ll want to send a 15-minute meeting invitation to the employees you want at your session. At BARR, we’ve created a few invitation guidelines to help boost engagement:

  • Subject of the invite should be: Power Slack: [Insert Topic]
  • Designate the Slack channel where your Power Slack will take place, along with a simple goal of the brainstorm
  • Include your three questions to allow attendees time to prepare ideas ahead of time

Here are a few day-of tips for Power Slack leaders that have proven to work well for us:

  • Give associates a five-minute warning that the Power Slack session is about to begin, and do so in the designated Slack channel
  • When your session begins, post a brief welcome message and share your first question
  • As you wait five minutes, sit back and watch the ideas pour in! 
  • From there, share the second question, wait five minutes, share the final question, wait five minutes, share a thank-you message at the conclusion

Let attendees know they can continue sharing their own or building on each other’s ideas within the question threads. We also typically ask that employees come with at least one idea for each question. In our experience, they provide much more than that because they’ve had time to research on their own. 

One final tip: Once you know which ideas you plan to act on, let participants know. Close the loop. This encourages employees to attend future Power Slack sessions because they know their ideas aren’t disappearing into a black hole. 

And there you have it, 15 minutes and tons of ideas to build on. Want to learn more? Contact us