Brainstorming – Art of Making Effective Decisions

Brainstorming

Introduction

Many of us make use of brainstorming to solve complex problems. People are likely to use experience brainstorming at least once in their lifetime. People have been using brainstorming to generate unique ideas and come up with creative solutions for years. However, one should be very careful to make effective decisions.

In this article, we are going to look at strategies to get the best out of it. Whether you are coming up with a new product or idea, this article will help you bring creativity out of your mind.

What is Brainstorming?

Brainstorming can be defined as the technique to generate new, unique and creative ideas. It help people to define - the problems they work on, diagnose problems, remediate a project by coming up with possible solutions. This approach was originally published in a book “Applied Imagination” in the year 1953. Since then, many improvements have been made to this technique.

Brainstorming is an informal approach to solve problems with lateral thinking. It motivates people to come up with unique ideas and thoughts that seem a bit crazy. Some of the brainstorming ideas can be crafted into creative solutions, while others are crafted into sparks. This help people get people jolting by making them think out of the box. During brainstorming sessions, one should avoid negative ideas. It is one of the common types of idea invention. It comes handy in a variety of situations where creative thinking is needed.

Why should you use Brainstorming?

Brainstorming should be used in situations where problem solving can often be undetermined by the group behavior. It is important to start brainstorming with structured and analytical process for effective results. This help the group develop unimaginative and unlimited ideas. Brainstorming provides and free and convenient environment that motivate people to participate. Participants are encouraged to contribute and develop a rich array of solutions.

Brainstorming can also help people get the desired solution from their team members. After all, they are likely to be committed towards an approach. Brainstorming brings team members together, as they solve problems in a positive and rewarding environment. It can be effective and beneficial if approached with an open mind. Brainstorming can be classified into individual and group brainstorming, which is described as below –

Individual Brainstorming

A number of researches have been conducted on brainstorming, and it was found that individual brainstorming is more productive than group brainstorming. This happens because groups often don’t follow brainstorming rules. Most of the people in groups often pay attention on what others say, rather than generating innovative ideas. They wait for their turn to speak, instead of thinking new ideas. Sometimes, people hesitate to share their ideas with the fear of failure.

Individual brainstorming is the technique where a single person tries hard to generate creative ideas. You need not have to worry about what other people think of your idea. However, you may not b e able to develop unique ideas, completely by your own. When you need to solve problem or get solution, individual brainstorming is beneficial.

Group Brainstorming

As said above, group brainstorming is effective for complex problems. If you want to take full advantage of group, then you should prefer group brainstorming. When one member struck with an idea, then the other member will help him solve it. One can develop ideas in depth with group brainstorming.

The main advantage of group brainstorming is that it helps everyone contribute towards finding solution. It can be great for team building and reminds people that other people also have creative ideas. It is not suggested for individuals with strong creative skills, as their skills may be subsided by the group. Participants of group brainstorming should come with a broad array of options from multiple disciplines to make the session creative. Make sure not to make the group too big. For effective outcome, one should not make group with more than 6-7 participants.

How to use Brainstorming Techniques?

To make better use of brainstorming, one should combine both individual and group brainstorming. You can get positive outcome on the problem without any interruption. You can maximize the number of ideas and experience the feeling of team bonding with an impactful brainstorming session. The below steps help you run brainstorming sessions in an effective manner.

Prepare the group

Setup a collaborative environment with sufficient resources, tools, refreshments and equipments. Consider the participants who are attending the session. You should always remember that preparation is the key to a successful brainstorming session. Appoint a person to record the ideas, once all the participants are gathered.

Article signup banner

Define the problem

You should define or present the problem clearly in front of all the participants and make sure that all the participants understood it. Give enough time for the participants to write down as many as ideas they can. Once everyone finishes writing, ask them to share their ideas and give a fair opportunity for each and every participant

Start the discussion

Once everyone has come up with their ideas, start the discussion to develop the ideas. Use those ideas to create new ideas. The key aspect of group brainstorming is to build on ideas of other participants. Make sure that you generate good number of ideas and explore them in detail at the end of the session. Take breaks in between, if the brainstorming session is lengthy and taking more time than expected.

If you do not get unique ideas by following the above steps, you should try using other approaches such as – Brainwriting, The Stepladder Technique, Crawford’s Slip Writing Approach, Reverse Brainstorming, Rolestorming, Starbusting, and Round-Robin Brainstorming etc. Although it might seem difficult to sort through multiple ideas, one can do this by using a variety of tools and techniques.

Summary

Brainstorming can help you generate unique and innovative ideas, if managed well. One can find solutions to complex problems with ease, by concentrating on the brainstorming techniques. It encourages people to commit to the solutions, as they played a crucial role in developing those solutions. The best approach is to combine individual and group brainstorming for creative results. You should make sure to encourage creative ideas without any criticism.

Other tools you might find interesting