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How to use brainstorming as a group technique

February 14, 2012 289 No of hits
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How to use brainstorming as a group technique

Brainstorming is a group technique for generating novel and innovative solutions to a problem. It works best with a group of four to fifteen people. The leader summarizes the problem and then allows five or ten minutes for group members to write down as many ideas for solutions as they can come up with. The next step is to have people report what they have written, plus any new ideas that emerge during reporting. A member writes the ideas where all can see them.

The following rules for brainstorming should be followed:

Don't allow critique of the ideas during the reporting stage. Evaluating people's input slows down idea generation and stifles creativity.

Try to come up with wild and exaggerated ideas. Nothing is too ridiculous. Even if an idea is impractical it might spark someone else's creativity.

Go for quantity of ideas, not quality at this stage. You will be narrowing down the list later. Keep each idea brief. Don't elaborate. Think fast and then move on.

Build on other people's ideas. Try to add something to or spin off from previous ideas. Combine two or more ideas into a new one.

Every person's ideas have merit. Everyone is unique and has a different font of wisdom that you want to tap into. Encourage everyone to speak up and not hold back.

Let the group continue as long as ideas are coming. Don't be too quick to end if there are lulls. Periods of silence can be useful for thinking of more ideas.

When you have collected all the ideas, the evaluation can begin. First, combine items that are similar. Then take a vote on which items are worth keeping. Narrow down the list to just the ideas that seem to hold some promise.

Next, discuss the merits and flaws of each of these items, one at a time. Make improvements where possible. Continue to narrow the list, holding another vote if necessary. In the end, you should have a solution, or a short list of potential solutions, that is superior to what the same individuals could have generated working separately.

Tags:   How to use brainstorming as a group technique   Brainstorm   Idea   Solution   Problem   Group  

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Brainstorming is a group technique for generating novel and innovative solutions to a problem. It works best with a group of four to fifteen people. The leader summarizes the problem and then allows five or ten minutes for group members to write down as many ideas for solutions as they can come up...

By: Richard Martine Created 75 months ago

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