Brainstorming is a process of solving a task at which any thoughts and ideas are taken into consideration, adequate and crazy ones. Some of them turn into new decisions in further. The main task of the method is to break the tether of a common thinking.
Why people need brainstorming? Structured and confirmed process of making decisions within a company playing a dirty trick when new ideas automatically get into a limit and what we get as a result is a boredom to death. Brainstorming helps to mix different members of a team experience and to lend colors to the process of an idea generation.
Brainstorming can be group and individual. The latter is oftentimes brings more results because rules of brainstorming are often broken within groups and an isolated thinking over a problem helps to develop an idea into something worthy.
Group, in its turn, helps the team members to feel themselves more into the process of making decisions, which effects positively on initiative and creative potential in the future. In order for this tool to work, one has to follow a raw of very important rules:
- Get ready. Create a comfortable atmosphere. If to try to come up with an idea of a century in a half-darkened room, where chairs are missing and to drink some water, you need to go somewhere downstairs, nothing regulative will come up.
- Define a secretary who will write down the ideas on the blackboard or flipchart.
- If a team is not used to working together, warm-up and acquaint with each other to melt the ice.
- Define a problem. Even if you think that everyone knows what the problem is, describe the problem once again.
- Do not rush and give some time to settle mind and to come up with first ideas.
- Encourage everyone.
- Do not gather more than 10 people at a time. Effectiveness of large groups is lower.
The biggest mistake is to hunt squirrel with a howitzer. There are many ways to solve a problem, real and unreal, stupid and genius. Nurture a plan for brainstorming, a direction to move on.
- Travel through time
- Put on other roles
- Fill the gaps
- Create smart maps
- Look down
- Create SWOT-table
- Change with brains
- Choose better ideas
- Do not limit oneself in resources
- Do not stop until you get 101 ideas
- Use random factor
- Search for help
If nothing comes into your mind:
- Go in for sport
- Do not sleep
- Get drunk
As for the mistakes, one normally does not get to see:
- No theme or direction for brainstorming.
- No motivation to come up with something beyond the pale.
- Not prepared enough to solve defined problems.
- There are clones within a team. There is no point to look for an idea among 10 programmers who work carbon copy. Invite a designer or marketing specialist. The result will most definitely be differ, moreover surprising.
- Stubbornness choosing the old ideas, which worked some time ago. Killing non-standard ideas right in the middle of the work.
- Hyperactive seriousness.
- Many coffee and smoke breaks.
- Untimely final. In the meaning of making a decision.
- There are competitive parts of the company gathered within a team when decisions of someone might complicate life for others.
- Too tight work schedule and no time to think properly.
How to choose that exact idea?
There are going to be tons of ideas after the brainstorming to organize and to sort out. If it is difficult to make it work, cut it out; if you do not have enough resources (and no real sources), cut it out; if no one is interested, cut it out; ask yourself a set of questions:
- How soon you can make it real?
- How big the output is?
- Is it simple to do it?
- Is it cheap?
- Is it risky?
- What does your sixth sense tell you?
As an option for evaluation, a modified SWOT-table may be used. For that, you should write down all the made decisions into a list, number it and consider each separately. In order to close in the cycle, ask each participant to pick top five ideas. It is important for the lists to be anonymous.
About the author: Melisa Marzett who is currently working for http://puressay.com/ adores writing and cannot spend a day without dropping at least a line. She has