"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." - Walt Disney

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Brainstorming Tools

Brainstorming is a group or individual creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously contributed.

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?


fairbetty said...

I like brainstorming with others, sometimes... the collective, hive mind reminds me of the Daleks in Doctor Who... you have access to a wealth of knowledge and creativity... it grows when shared.

Sylvia Ney said...

Elisabeth - I love that analogy. I'm a big Dr. Who fan!

Unknown said...

I hadn't heard of several of those methods. An excellent B topic!
I'm visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge
Peanut Butter and Whine

Anonymous said...

This knowledge could have come in handy for my past employers. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Unknown said...

Honestly, I use something like the Rolestorming when getting my thoughts together for a novel. A central idea expands to all kinds of possibilities, then I take the one I like best & run with it.

Great post!!

Thanks for stopping by Scribbler's Sojourn!


LuAnn @ BackPorchervations said...

Following from the A to Z Challenge.

I love brainstorming and this list is fabulous! Tweeted it - https://twitter.com/KentuckyGal/status/319137793781669889

Kimberly Gabriel said...

What a thorough list! I love the names for the different types of brainstorming. Great post!

saniya said...

"...there should be no criticism of ideas." I think that's the hardest to keep out of brainstorming in groups.
But it's fun anyway. :)

loverofwords said...

I like brainstorming but with myself. Does that sound selfish? I just start to write, doodle a bit, make diagrams and then find my idea. This is just for writing, though.

Unknown said...

I love brainstorimng! great idea to generate new ideas!

This must be one of the best-documented articles on the topic I've read in a while. BOOKMARKED!

S.P. Bowers said...

Huh, now that I think about it I never do traditional brainstorming. I just sit down and write until all my ideas are on paper or I find what I need to do.

Anonymous said...

Somebody must have brainstormed a whole bunch to come up with so many terms related to brainstorming. Who knew?

Anonymous said...

Great B topic. I like to brainstorm, both at work and in my writing. Helps me generate the ideas. Happy A to Z'ing :)

Anonymous said...

Great B topic. I like to brainstorm, both at work and in my writing. Helps me generate the ideas. Happy A to Z'ing :)

Chris said...

I'm giving you a clue here to my age, you see whenever I think of brainstorming I straight away think of butcher paper and big texta pens. But not anymore;loved the examples here and thoroughly enjoyed the topic.

Dana Martin said...

Nicely done! I will bookmark this post and save it. May even research it and use it for a workshop topic! Great stuff here!

Can't wait to see what "C" brings.

Keep on keepin' on...

Waiter, drink please!

Kelly said...

This is so neat! I had no idea there were so many ways to brainstorm!

Unknown said...

Rolestorming is the new way to brainstorm. The criticism of brainstorming is the constant fear of ridicule or premature critique. Rolestorming solves this by selecting roles and then building ideas alone or in a group based on the role you pick.
Rick Griggs

Evan said...

Mind maps are a tool used to visualize and organize information. Capturing your free flow of ideas using a mind map during brainstorming will help you quickly make sense of the relationships between the information you come up with. They are also a great way to break down an idea and analyze it. Mind maps are not the only brainstorming tools find more about in the post brainstorming tools