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   see also:  Innovation




a group creativity technique designed to generate a large number of ideas for the solution to a problem.



Keys to successful (focused) brainstorming:


1.  no judging, dont interrupt ideas

2.  build on the ideas of others, rather than just adding your own new ideas

3.  stay focused, and dont go off on tangents

4.  get everyones involvement by allowing just one person to speak at a time.  And make sure to also involve the shy ones

5.  quantity, quantity, quantity.... try to get as many ideas as possible in as little time as possible.  go, go, go.... a good idea will pop out as you break down the barriers of fear and judgement, and get caught up in the momentum

6.  think out of the box, out of the room...out of this world....encourage wild ideas

7.  be graphic, visual....sketch out the concept

8.  make a prototype, but be FAST (a rough approximation right now is better than a perfect prototype a month from now!)





There are four basic rules in brainstorming.[5] These are intended to reduce the social inhibitions that occur in groups and therefore stimulate the generation of new ideas. The expected result is a dynamic synergy that will dramatically increase the creativity of the group.


  1. Focus on quantity: This rule is a means of enhancing divergent production, aiming to facilitate problem solving through the maxim, quantity breeds quality. The assumption is that the greater the number of ideas generated, the greater the chance of producing a radical and effective solution.
  2. No criticism: It is often emphasized that in group brainstorming, criticism should be put 'on hold'. Instead of immediately stating what might be wrong with an idea, the participants focus on extending or adding to it, reserving criticism for a later 'critical stage' of the process. By suspending judgment, one creates a supportive atmosphere where participants feel free to generate unusual ideas.
  3. Unusual ideas are welcome: To get a good and long list of ideas, unusual ideas are welcomed. They may open new ways of thinking and provide better solutions than regular ideas. They can be generated by looking from another perspective or setting aside assumptions.
  4. Combine and improve ideas: Good ideas can be combined to form a single very good idea, as suggested by the slogan "1+1=3". This approach is assumed to lead to better and more complete ideas than merely generating new ideas alone. It is believed to stimulate the building of ideas by a process of association.



 Image:Activity preperation.svg





Set the problem

One of the most important things to do before a session is to define the problem. The problem must be clear, not too big, and captured in a definite question such as “What service for mobile phones is not available now, but needed?“. If the problem is too big, the chairman should divide it into smaller components, each with its own question. Some problems are multi-dimensional and non-quantified, for example “What are the aspects involved in being a successful entrepreneur?”. Finding solutions for this kind of problem can be done with morphological analysis (problem-solving).




Create a background memo

The background memo is the invitation and informational letter for the participants, containing the session name, problem, time, date, and place. The problem is described in the form of a question, and some example ideas are given. The ideas are solutions to the problem, and used when the session slows down or goes off-track. The memo is sent to the participants at least two days in advance, so that they can think about the problem beforehand.




Select participants

The chairman composes the brainstorming panel, consisting of the participants and an idea collector. Ten or fewer group members are generally more productive than larger groups. Many variations are possible but the following composition is suggested.

  • Several core members of the project who have proved themselves.
  • Several guests from outside the project, with affinity to the problem.
  • One idea collector who records the suggested ideas.




Create a list of lead questions

During the brainstorm session the creativity may decrease. At this moment, the chairman should stimulate creativity by suggesting a lead question to answer, such as Can we combine these ideas? or How about a look from another perspective?. It is advised to prepare a list of such leads before the session begins.











































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