Brainstorming Technique

Originated by Alex Osborn, brainstorming was designed to separate idea generation from idea evaluation. It has the objective of moving people into an atmosphere of a freewheeling thought process whereby ideas are stimulated through hearing others’ ideas. The emphasis is on quantity of ideas, using the philosophy that quantity produces quality.

Procedure for Use:

The following ground rules for effective brainstorming are recommended:

1. Pick a problem/opportunity where each person has the knowledge/motivation to contribute.

2. Define the problem in neutral terms rather than a preselected solution, e.g., ‘How do we get this job done?’ rather than ‘How do we get this person or this group to do this job?’

3. Record the ideas on flip charts or large pieces of paper where everyone can see them.

4. Suspend evaluation or judgment until all ideas have been given.

5. Stretch for ideas.

6. When you think you’ve got all the ideas, go for another round, being even more outrageous in possible solutions.

7. Aim for quantity to help find quality.

8. Accept all ideas, even weak ones.

9. Encourage embellishment and building on ideas.