Brainstorming was created many decades ago by advertising executive Alex Osbourn, as a way to generate creative advertising ideas from staff. Having been involved in brainstorming sessions, both as a participant and as a facilitator, brainstorming can be a great tool to generate fresh ideas and solutions to problem solving. Brainstorming focuses on one problem at a time. First of all you need to specify the issue or problem you want to brainstorm. Once that is done, follow these simple rules to get the most out of your brainstorming session.
Four general rules to a great brainstorming session.
1. quantity not quality – the key here is to generate as many ideas as possible. Don’t worry about the quality of the ideas at this stage, just get the ideas down on paper.
2. refrain from criticizing ideas – ensure everyone in the brainstorming activity knows there is no such thing as a bad or silly idea.
3. encourage the unusual – actively encourage new and unusual ideas or new ways of thinking
4. link and enrich – look for ideas that can be joined or linked together, then look to see how these could be improved to create new ideas or solutions.
How to brainstorm and get creative
If you’re new to brainstorming and need to know how to brainstorm – check How to brainstorm for a step by step approach.
Sometimes you hit the wall and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get the solution or idea you’re looking for; then try this simple trick to make you more creative, doing something different for a while and then revisiting often works.
So, next time you’re wanting to generate a new idea or solve a problem, try brainstorming and use these techniques, it may just give you the creativity, and solutions, you’re looking for.