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Brainstorm how-to: the wall of ideas and get things done.

Although it’s important to know what your business success parameters are (e.g., budget, timeframe, etc..) when approaching a problem, you should briefly acknowledge them, but then disregard them during the actual brainstorming session. Doing so will help creative thinking to flourish, and often, it’s the most “out-there” or “off-target." This can also be a great way to position yourself as an authority in your field and get things done.

Want to help organizations explore more content or create categories?

When you brainstorm, you can add it to up to as many categories you may need. These categories appear in your thoughts and you apply the action, so choose logically, as time is of the essence.

No criticism: Criticism of ideas are withheld during the brainstorming session as the purpose is on generating varied and unusual ideals and extending or adding to these ideas. Criticism is reserved for the evaluation stage of the process. This allows the members to feel comfortable with the idea of generating unusual ideas.

Welcome unusual ideas: Unusual ideas are welcomed as it is normally easier to "tame down" than to "tame up" as new ways of thinking and looking at the world may provide better solutions.

Quantity Wanted: The greater the number of ideas generated, the greater the chance of producing a radical and effective solution.

Combine and improve ideas: Not only are a variety of ideals wanted, but also ways to combine ideas in order to make them better.

Brainstorming Steps:

  • Gather information and participants from as wide a range of disciplines, with as broad a range of experience as possible. This brings many more creative ideas to the session.

  • Write down a brief description of the problem - the leader or co-leader should take control of the session, initially defining the problem to be solved with any criteria that must be met, and then keeping the session on course.

  • Use the description to get everyone's mind clear of what the problem is and post it where it can be seen. This helps in keeping the group focused.

  • Encourage an enthusiastic, uncritical attitude among brainstormers and encourage participation by all members of the team. Encourage them to have fun!

  • Write down all the solutions that come to mind (even ribald ones).

  • Do NOT interpret the idea, however you may rework the wording for clarity's sake. 

  • DO NOT evaluate ideas until the session moves to the evaluation phase. Once the brainstorming session has been completed, the results of the session can be analyzed and the best solutions can be explored either using further brainstorming or more conventional solutions.

  • DO NOT censor any solution, no matter how silly it sounds. The silly ones will often lead to creative ones - the idea is to open up as many possibilities as possible, and break down preconceptions about the limits of the problem. The leader or co-leader should keep the brainstorming on subject, and should try to steer it towards the development of some practical solutions. 

  • Once all the solutions have been written down, evaluate the list to determine the best action to correct the problem.


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