Brainstorming is a technique to generate ideas. Participants are asked to think and quickly generate ideas around a question, problem or opportunity. The only rules are “no idea is too crazy” and “generate ideas, not critique.” Without these barriers the oddest and most unexpected ideas can lead the discussion to something very constructive. It is often used as a divergent process to stimulate creativity and innovation and paired later with convergent processes to cluster and evaluate the ideas. For more definitions click here.
The initiator of the brainstorming method is Alex Osborn. The method was first presented in 1948 in the book called “Your creative power”.
According to Osborn: “Brainstorm means using the brain to storm a creative problem and to do so “in commando fashion, each stormer audaciously attacking the same objective.”
Brainstorming is used when you want a group of people to share their ideas with you on a particular topic or question. This would be to help you define an idea, an approach, a strategy. It can also be used to help a group break out of entrained or patterned thinking that is blocking the development of new ideas. (Also called “getting out of your rut!”) Because brainstorming is fast, easy and can be very inclusive, it is useful when you need to harness the energy and
brain power of a group of people that you foresee working together on an issue.
Size of group impacts how brainstorming is done. In groups of 15 or less, it is easy to capture the flow ideas as they are generated. In larger group you may wish to break into smaller groups for the brainstorming, then compare results across groups.
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Tags innovation, knowledge_creation, collaboration, strategic_planning, plan