Whether you choose to do your brainstorming alone or with a group, there are several tools that can increase the number of ideas:
· The Stepladder Technique – This improves the contribution of quieter group members by introducing one person at a time.
· Brainwriting – This is a written approach that you can use to encourage all individuals to generate and develop ideas.
· Brain-netting – An electronic method of brainstorming, this uses a document stored on a central server, or on a Cloud-based system.
· Crawford's Slip Writing Approach – You can use this approach to get plenty of ideas from all participants, and to get a view of each idea's popularity.
· Reverse Brainstorming – This is used to improve a product or service.
· Starbursting – Starbursting helps you develop questions that you need to ask to evaluate a proposal.
· Charette Procedure – This helps you brainstorm with large groups of people. (Conventional brainstorming becomes increasingly ineffective when more than 10 or 12 people are involved.)
· Round-Robin Brainstorming – You can use this approach to get people to contribute ideas without being influenced by others.
· Rolestorming – This technique encourages group members to take on other people's identities while brainstorming, thereby reducing their inhibitions.
The best approach to brainstorming combines individual and group brainstorming. During the brainstorming process, there should be no criticism of ideas, and creativity should be encouraged.Recording the session can eliminate the need to slow down to write. Afterwards you can review the information at your leisure. However, when the brainstorming session ends, you may have a lot of ideas. Although it might seem hard to sort through these ideas to find the best ones, analyzing them is an important next step, and you can use several tools to do this.
Use Affinity Diagrams to organize ideas and find common themes. Grid Analysis and Paired Comparison Analysis will help you choose between different options. You can also use the Six Thinking Hats technique to look at ideas from different perspectives; and Nominal Group Technique and Multi-Voting can help you choose between options as a team, particularly where the differences between options are quite subjective.When managed well, brainstorming can help you generate radical solutions to problems. Brainstorming can also encourage people to commit to solutions, because they have provided input and played a role in developing them.
When you’re brainstorming a new idea, do you enlist the help of others? What techniques work for you?