Brainstorming integrates a flexible, informal approach to solve problems with lateral thinking. It helps people come up with ideas and thoughts that can, initially, seem unrealistic. Some of these thoughts can be incorporated into authentic, creative solutions to an issue; meanwhile others can give room for creation of more ideas. This is very useful for setting individuals free by shifting their paradigms. Thus, during a brainstorming activity, all ideas should be appreciated. Brainstorming ideas are intended to open up possibilities about the limits of a problem. Analysis and Judgment at this level hinders idea generation and limit brainstorming activity.
At the end of the session the brainstorming ideas are analyzed to further explore solutions while using conventional strategies.
Why Use Brainstorming ideas?
Using orthodox group problem solving can usually be undermined by irrelevant group behavior. While it's essential to begin with a structured analystical process when solving issues, this can cause a group to develop stagnant and unimaginative ideas.
On the other hand, brainstorming techniques offer an open and free arena that encourages everyone to take part. Quirky ideas are entertained and built upon, and all participants are encouraged to take part fully, assisting them build a rich array of innovative solutions.
Brainstorming creativity when used during problem solving brings the diverse experience of team members into play. It augments the richness of explored ideas, which implies that you can usually find adequate solutions to the challenges that you face. Also, it can also help you get credit from team members for the chosen solution– nonetheless; they're prone to be more engaged to a strategy if they were involved in the development process. Furthermore, because the brainstorming activity is fun, it helps foster bonds between team members, as they solve issues in a positive, rewarding arena.
While brainstorming techniques can be effective, it's important to handle it with a spirit of non-judgment and an open mind. If you fail to do this, individuals fail to contribute, the quality and number of ideas drop, and can affect an individual’s morale.
The Importance of Creative Brainstorming
If you are considering marketing a business, fresh ideas, innovation and creativity are good tools which can assist you make good success in your endeavors.However, getting fresh ideas can be a daunting exercise and usually, creativity is not so easily maneuvered. When trying to establish effective ads or slogans or marketing campaigns, brainstormingactivity could be the key to help you generate a whole repertoire of relevant business ideas.
In any company, the essence of creative brainstorming usually takes the foremost position before you embark on taking a new client, major project or solve an important external or internal challenge. Irrespective of the situation, creativity techniques can be utilized to any company’s advantage. When you rally your team to work, collaborate together and creatively solve problems, there are many good things that result;
- Creative team brainstorming enhances your problem solving and critical thinking abilities as an individual and a team. It also encourages cooperation on more than just major projects. Members of the team usually feel more open to throwing ideas off one another and sourcing advice on individual projects when creative team brainstorming is an essential element of the work process. Furthermore, creative brainstorming works to include different points of views and enhances the team’s capacity to think outside the box.
- Entertain exaggerated and wild thinking. Encouraging wild ideas works! If you begin constrained, it makes it difficult to develop thinking. Nonetheless, it’s always very direct to divert thinking from an idea that is overly ambitious. Trying to obliterate wild ideas before they start developing roots neglects two important points. For us to eliminate, we have to judge and judgment leads to the death of growing ideas. It is often better to let it out and then later on decide not to develop it rather than just shunning the very idea that might have led to a cure for AIDS, for instance. Some of the most brilliant ideas that have ever surfaced on this planet, began as wild ideas – everybody thought Einstein was insane until other people demonstrated in a conclusive manner that he was a genius. Additionally, prohibiting wild ideas miscomprehends the nature of ideas. When using idea generation techniques (while holding judgment) by definition, there will be bad ideas and good ideas. The difference can only be known once we have subjected an idea through the critical reasoning process– a completely different form of thinking compared to that required for idea generation. It’s analogous to instructing Cristiano Ronaldo to never miss a goal – you need to lose some to win some.Think about this, a bad idea is a good idea that’s out of place!
- In most businesses, when you designate a single individual to generate all ideas, there is a tendency for those ideas to become monotonous and stale. However, during a brainstorming session, you can collect more brilliant and more viable ideas from a number of individuals. As the team brainstorms together, ideas may evolve into something that is fresh and effective. Since team members may have unique interests, background and motivation, they can help come up with ideas that no single individual will generate on their own.
- Never criticize other people’s ideas while they are still being generated. More so, proposing otherwise shows a lack of understanding of true intent of Osborn. Criticism demandsjudgment and judgment is condemning the continued generation of ideas. Furthermore, the key is to spend just a short period brainstorming ideas and then bring in criticism by all means but make sure to separate the two events.
- Every individual and every idea has equal value-The concept that everybody might not contribute is insulting and misguided. Osborn never contested that every idea is of equal value. While using idea generation techniques, there is no way of measuring merit since, once more, this necessitates judgment. Every individual can nevertheless have ideas in a brainstorming session. The concept of limiting participants to only the most intelligent ones is the short path to insanity. The most brilliant ones tend to know only about the current ideal and/or if it’s not fruitful and this cannot be changed no matter how much rational analysis. Having an individual in a brainstorming activity who lacks expert knowledge may slow lag the whole process and can be frustrating. Nonetheless, every once in a while, one of the weird questions they pose can turn out to be anything but only because they are not bordered by how things are supposed to be.
- Only one person talking at a time- this is not a good concept to adopt.This has never been a laid done rule for brainstorming. A key characteristic for brainstorming is that it should be free-for-all with a lot of people talking simultaneously, whereas plenty ideas are lost in the scrimmage as are remembered or collected on completion. In case a good idea gets lost in the melee, consider that there are loads more from where the idea came.
- False anchoring- There is no such thing as “early on” in a brainstorming session. There’s a short blast, often times a few minutes and obviously no more than 10 minutes, during which ideas are being generated – remember the brainstorming session has to be open and free-for-all. Later on, there is a period of assessing, sorting and selecting. It is very strange for one particular idea to gain more recognition than another during this process but this cannot be described as false anchoring sinceall ideas are under consideration. If an idea with merit is not being talked about frequently, there always will be someone who will push it to the fore to get adequate consideration. And if by chance it gets missed, who will say that the one chosen is not the best anyway?
- The concept of building on other individual’s ideas actually does add value – it’s all about when you do it. It is acceptable for one idea to spark (give birth to) another during the preliminary idea generating blast even though it doesn’t need to be discussed at this point. If you are going to make the most effective use of the available time, you should only build on other people’s ideas when we have selected the chunk of ideas that you have agreed to develop. This will help avoid wasting time on ideas that are irrelevant.
- For you to be creative, your brain can sometimes be your most dreaded enemy. This is so because thoughts of creativity can get mixed-up and jumbled in your head, hindering you from clearly thinking them out. Also, it is possible that you come up with an ambiguous idea only to end up in turmoil because you are unable to give a definite form or shape to the idea. Brainstorming techniques most often requires you to extract these mixed up ideas from your head and bring them out (either audibly or on a sheet of paper). When you discuss or see these ideas, you can give then a definite shape and increase the chances of finding an innovative idea.
- Agreement or aggression-finally, something we can agree on – it’s essential to get an external point of view in a brainstorming activity. The concept that a brainstorming activity should evade disagreement is also misguided. During that short blast of idea generation near the start of what can be called the ‘authentic’ brainstorming session, disaccord does not surface because judgment is on hold and disaccord is the product of critical reasoning. Once brainstorming ideas have been generated, it is recommended to welcome or encourage disagreement. Disagreement refines ideas.
- Voting on ideas-when it comes to selecting ideas, front-runners are often compelled to select themselves. When there is little or no passion for idea selection and somebody might be tempted to propose voting.Often, this is more likely to be the outcome of the fact that no one is particularly engaged to anything on the shortlist. It is by far better to take a step back, review one or two of the ideas or probably even start the process all over. When the idea generation facet is so brief, a shortlist can be generated in a short time. Voting may be a tangible solution for democracies but is not applicable to generating brainstorming ideas. Voting gives rise to winners and losers. Losers often feel defeated and might be reluctant to contribute new ideas or even accept the ‘chosen ideas’.
- Create a fun environment-Serious professionals –it is of prime importance to understand that working in a fun environment is essential. Quit considering those who embrace this concept to be ‘unserious workers.’ There are uncountable benefits of working in a fun environment. Having fun keeps people relaxed, minimizes inhibition and increases the likelihood of having ideas and sharing them as well. More so, in most companies, individuals who have enjoyed generating ideas are much more likely to stick with them when the going gets tough and to execute them. So when it comes to fun, keep it coming!
- Foster Team spirit- The end of a brainstorming activity is usually characterized by barely-contained excitement, an eagerness to ride on and execute something, a sense of forecasting about what the group is about to do. Sometimes members get congratulated for a job well done. Nonetheless, the group-hugs should be an integral part of the brainstorming activity. This can help build the bonds between members of the team causing them to totally engage in implementing chosen ideas thereby fostering team spirit.
Conducting a brainstorming session
Brainstorming activities can be organized in many forms; either online or face to face meetings. The more diverse the group is the better.
Any brainstorming activity must have a defined theme for its members to work on. The idea generation technique needs to be guided by a leader who raises discussion points. Each discussion point should take place within a very short time. Limiting the time permits the members to think fast. During such meetings everything should be noted.
One of the most effective brainstorming techniques is to give an opportunity for each member to propose an idea or solution for each point raised. Individuals can also be requested to write down ideas.
Authentic brainstorming remains, without a doubt, the most powerful tool for generating business ideas and solutions.