The best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible.
David M. Ogilvy, 1911- 99
Time and project management series
or generating options
toward problem solving
What is commonly known
as brainstorming can be used to generate ideas toward problem
- Individuals can use brainstorming!
Diehl and Stroebe (1987) found that individuals
working separately were able to generate more ideas than groups!
- Groups working with brainstorming are more effective when
individuals within the group are responsible and empowered to contribute,
and understand the value of contributing. Ideas generated can be more
constructive when the group brings different perspectives and
backgrounds to the process.
Brainstorming should begin with a focused, well-defined topic
that each participant understands and agrees to.
If used in a group, the group should be smaller in number,
include a facilitator and note taker, and have a
defined time limit.
Ideas should be expansive, creative and not judged,
and hopefully reflect a diversity of the contributors. Ideas can also
build on one another. See the entry in
Wikipedia for a broader discussion.
Follow up activities:
Ideas contributed are not criticized in the process of brainstorming.
Each may have a grain of possibility and should be viewed from that
- Ideas contributed should be left in their original form.
- Guidelines should be developed for evaluating and ranking them.
- Ideas are considered in light of the guidelines, revised and
- Follow up activities are discussed for further action:
- A report is generated for all participants to demonstrate the
validity of the exercise and continue to empower individuals to
contribute to the process of resolving the original
- Meetings by sub-groups to work on ideas, and perhaps
resolve any differences/conflicts
- Meeting of the collective to see if new
perspectives or options are generated from the exercise.
Thinking and recall series