Brainstorming.The purpose of this checklist is to enable a busy manager, without previous experience of the technique and with a minimum of preparation, to introduce brainstorming to a group and then go on to brainstorm a specific problem or opportunity.
Brainstorming is a technique for generating ideas, developing creativity, or problem solving problem solving
Process involved in finding a solution to a problem. Many animals routinely solve problems of locomotion, food finding, and shelter through trial and error. , in small groups, through the free-flowing contributions of participants. Several variations of brainstorming and related techniques have emerged, such as brainwriting, where ideas are written down by individuals, nominal group technique The nominal group technique is a decision-making method for use among groups of many sizes, who want to make their decision quickly, as by a vote, but want everyone's opinions taken into account (as opposed to traditional voting, where only the largest group is considered). , electronic brainstorming, and buzz groups.
* Numberous fresh ideas and concepts are rapidly generated.
* It enables people to be involved and make a positive contribution.
* The cost of the process--in terms of people and time--is quantifiable Quantifiable
Can be expressed as a number. The results of quantifiable psychological tests can be translated into numerical values, or scores.
Mentioned in: Psychological Tests .
* The session can be dictated dic·tate
v. dic·tat·ed, dic·tat·ing, dic·tates
1. To say or read aloud to be recorded or written by another: dictate a letter.
a. or sidetracked by dominant individuals.
* Getting people to be non-critical can be a problem.
These problems can be overcome by a good facilitator. See step 3 below.
1. Select the problem / opportunity to be brainstormed Select an item important enough to justify the participation of others. It should also be one where there are a number of possible solutions and imagination is required to think of them.
2. Think of structure, aims and objectives Although a brainstorming session is an open, 'no-holds- barred' affair, establish where you are going, what you want to achieve and roughly how to get there
3. Choose the Facilitator ... ... an open, outgoing person with enthusiasm and ability, contributing interest and enjoyment. Choosing the right facilitator is vital. (S)he need not be the most senior person at the session, but will need to set the scene by relaxing the participants and creating an open, free atmosphere, controlling dominant people, getting and keeping them on track by highlighting the issues, and creating a sense of fun. Perhaps most importantly Adv. 1. most importantly - above and beyond all other consideration; "above all, you must be independent"
above all, most especially , (s)he should be adept at keeping ideas flowing. Should the facilitator be internal or external? An external facilitator can be especially useful when senior managers are involved, but if the issue is not too complex or contentious, an internal facilitator may be used provided (s)he has some experience. The facilitator should feel comfortable running activity-based sessions, and should have clear plans and tactics for arriving at expected outcomes or targets. The facilitator must also ensure, as much as possible, that the group works as a team and owns what it has achieved at the end.
4. Select an appropriate venue This depends largely on the time set aside for the session. If time is available then somewhere away from the routine place of work is often more suitable. This gets people away from 'contemplating their corporate navel' and is often better for a fresh perspective on the business in hand.
5. Think of the group mix As well as those with a specialist contribution to make include those who have little or no knowledge of the problem to be brainstormed. They will not be concerned with detail and will offer a fresh approach. Consider the introduction of outsiders for this, although it can backfire if they are seen as intruders or spies spies
Plural of spy.
Third person singular present tense of spy. . Work on getting the group dynamics group dynamics: see group psychotherapy. right for putting the group at ease, avoidance of snide or putdown put·down or put-down
1. A dismissal or rejection, especially in the form of a critical or slighting remark: "Such answers were, perhaps still are, a . . . comments and creating a 'free-from-blame' atmosphere. All participants are equal and none are more equal than others.
6. Think of the right number There is no right number, although more than 10 might be unmanageable when ideas really start to flow, and less than five might not be enough for generating creativity. Six to eight is usually about right, although this will depend on the style of the facilitator and the nature of the problem to be tackled.
7. Get the equipment right You will need to record the ideas that come up. A tape-recorder smacks of 'big brother' and may well act as an inhibitor inhibitor /in·hib·i·tor/ (in-hib´i-tor)
1. any substance that interferes with a chemical reaction, growth, or other biologic activity.
2. to the free flow of ideas. Get hold of a flip-chart--with plenty of sheets and plenty of marker pens that work!--so that successive sheets can be blu-tacked to the wall in full view and therefore help to stimulate further ideas.
8. Get the layout right Do not use a room with fixed rows of seats. Something more relaxed, even random, is preferable; a circle or U-shape is fairly usual. If the facilitator is not familiar with the room to be used, (s)he should check it beforehand and prepare it appropriately.
9. Get the timing right Think of your own powers of concentration and remember that brainstorming of ideas can go from dynamic to exhausted, and back again. 10-20 minutes may be needed to get people relaxed; two hours can be a long time to brainstorm--stop for a break if people show signs of tiredness. Arrange for a 20-minute break after an hour's uninterrupted flow, or if and when the flow slows to a trickle. The break may be enough to stimulate an active re-start, perhaps with a change in seating of individuals.
10. Get the time of day right Unfortunately hard advice is difficult here as we are all different. Some people are better when their mind is less active and more relaxed and when their routine work has been dispensed dis·pense
v. dis·pensed, dis·pens·ing, dis·pens·es
1. To deal out in parts or portions; distribute. See Synonyms at distribute.
2. To prepare and give out (medicines).
3. with. Others may prefer the morning when collective mental energy is at its highest, or at least not dulled by the day's toil. Provide sufficient notice of the session, and an outline of the problem to be tackled.
Action checklist--The session
1. State the problem / objective
State the problem and explain it to the group. Make sure everyone participating has a clear understanding.
2. Restate re·state
tr.v. re·stat·ed, re·stat·ing, re·states
To state again or in a new form. See Synonyms at repeat.
re·state the problem
Encourage the group to stand back from the problem, walk around it, and see it from every angle. Suggest re-wording it in 'How to' statements. Some restatements may be close to the original, others may illuminate il·lu·mi·nate
v. il·lu·mi·nat·ed, il·lu·mi·nat·ing, il·lu·mi·nates
1. To provide or brighten with light.
2. To decorate or hang with lights.
3. new facets. Jot down Verb 1. jot down - write briefly or hurriedly; write a short note of
write - communicate or express by writing; "Please write to me every week" the restatements on the flip-chart for all to see.
3. Brainstorm the problem with the following guidelines guidelines,
n.pl a set of standards, criteria, or specifications to be used or followed in the performance of certain tasks. :
a) Suspend judgement: avoid evaluative comments such as 'that won't work' or 'that sounds silly'. Laugh with wild ideas, not at them.
b) Use the following techniques for generating further ideas.
* Call for a one-minute break, asking the group to look over ideas already noted before starting the flow again.
* Offer a target: e.g. 'we just need six more to make 50 ideas!'
* Reflect and concentrate on one idea, e.g. how many ways can we do this?
* Look back at the re-statements to pursue other lines.
c) Freewheel free·wheel
n. also free wheel
1. A power-transmission device that allows the drive shaft of a motor vehicle to continue turning when its speed is greater than that of the engine shaft.
2. : encourage (within limits) drifting or dreaming; try to bring the subconscious subconscious: see unconscious. into play; the wilder the idea, the better.
d) Go for quantity not quality--the more the merrier; suspend judgement, evaluation comes later.
e) Cross-fertilize: pick up somebody's idea and suggest others leading from it.
4. Ask the group to choose a really wild and apparently senseless sense·less
1. Lacking sense or meaning; meaningless.
2. Deficient in sense; foolish or stupid.
3. Insensate; unconscious. idea from the lists marked up and generate ideas from there.
Give a warning of when the session will close about five minutes from the end. Participants will want to know what happens next. Explain that the lists will be typed up for circulation and do this within 24 hours to retain freshness and familiarity. Tell the participants that they will be informed on the ideas chosen for further action or recommendation. Ask them one last time for any comments, ideas or further thinking.
1. Get the team to scrutinize scru·ti·nize
tr.v. scru·ti·nized, scru·ti·niz·ing, scru·ti·niz·es
To examine or observe with great care; inspect critically.
scru all the ideas to pick out any instant winners. Rank ideas giving 3 points for those which stand out, 2 for those which have possibilities and Zero for those which appear unsound unsound
said of an animal, usually a horse, which has been examined for soundness and found to be unsatisfactory. , require too many resources, or do not meet the original objectives.
2. Reduce the number of '2s ' to a minimum, apply such criteria as cost, acceptability or time-scales
3. Use reverse brainstorming
* In how many ways can a particular idea fail?
* What are the negative factors?
* What is the potential downside Downside
The dollar amount by which the market or a stock has the potential to fall.
You might hear someone say that the downside on stock XYZ is $10. What that means is that the stock could fall by this amount if things got bad. for the organisation?
4. Apply the key evaluative criteria
* What will it cost?
* Will it be acceptable to management, staff, and customers?
* Is it legal?
* Is it practical?
* How long will it take?
* What competition will there be?
* How urgent is it? (If it is not done now, will an opportunity be lost?)
Dos and don'ts for Brainstorming
* be sensitive to participants' tiredness
* encourage freedom of movement--some people think better when mobile
* use a variety of techniques to generate further ideas
* encourage an informal atmosphere free from blame or inhibition inhibition
In enzymology, a phenomenon in which a compound (an inhibitor), usually similar in structure to the substance on which an enzyme acts (substrate), interacts with the enzyme so that the resulting complex cannot undergo the usual reaction or cannot form the usual .
* let the session go on too long
* allow interruptions
* use a tape-recorder
* allow critical or evaluative comments
* allow the session to become too 'off-the-wall'!
Why didnt I think of that: Charles W McCoy Jr Paramus NJ: Prentice Hall Prentice Hall is a leading educational publisher. It is an imprint of Pearson Education, Inc., based in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA. Prentice Hall publishes print and digital content for the 6-12 and higher education market. History
In 1913, law professor Dr. , 2002
Successful innovation: Michel Syrett and Jean Lammiman London: Economist Books in association with Profile Books, 2002
Ultimate book of business creativity: 50 great thinking tools for transforming your business: Ros Jay Oxford: Capstone, 2000
You got a problem Mujeeb Khan khan
Historically, the ruler or monarch of a Mongol tribe. Early on a distinction was made between the title of khan and that of khakan, or “great khan.” Later the term khan was adopted by the Seljuq and Khwarezm-Shah dynasties as a title for the highest Quality World: Oct vol 29 no 10, 2003
Brainstorming myth Adrian Furnham Adrian Furnham (born 1953) is a British organizational and applied psychologist, management expert and Professor of Psychology at University College London. In addition to his academic roles, he is a consultant on organizational behaviour and management, writer and broadcaster. Business Strategy Review: Winter vol 11 no 4,2000
Does your organisation need to:
* become more innovative?
* solve problems requiring creative or imaginative answers?
* get more involvement and participation from colleagues?
* generate ideas rapidly?