Sometimes it can be quite difficult to come up with something new. An hour or two passes, but ideas still do not come to mind: either everything is stereotyped and boring, or there is nothing to write down on a piece of paper. In the end, the venture turns out to be meaningless, and the time is wasted. Fortunately, there is a special method that allows you to get out of this situation. We invite you to get acquainted with the “Brainstorming” technique. Do not be intimidated by this name if you hear it for the first time. In fact, this method is very common and popular. World-famous Steve Jobs said that when he did not have enough money, he sat down to think, and did not run to earn money.
Brainstorming is a method of solving problems and generating new ideas (up to the fantastic and absurd), through active and heated discussion of the problem by several participants, the whole team, or even individually.
Why does a large number of people prefer this particular method? The answer is simple: it is convenient, does not require any costs, easy to use and can be used not only in a team, but also by one person. Brainstorming can be used both in business and for personal or professional purposes.
Let’s dive into history a little and see how the brainstorming method came about and who was its founder. Brainstorming was invented by Alex Osborne in 1937 when he co-owned a large company called Button, Barton and Osborne. Before sharing this method with the public, his company has successfully used brainstorming in its operations for two years.
This method really has a lot of advantages:
1. Interaction of participants with each other;
2. Development of creative thinking;
3. Strengthening and improving relations in the team;
4. Application of imagination and creativity;
5. No costs, equipment or special premises;
6. The ability to form and share your own opinion;
7. Generation of ideas that allow you to develop or make positive changes in your business or your own business;
8. Active and effective teamwork.
And these are just the most important advantages. Despite the positives, brainstorming, like everything, has its drawbacks. Of these, there are:
1. Ineffectiveness of the method in the absence of team spirit and interaction between the participants;
2. Brainstorming can sometimes drag on for several hours due to the abundance of ideas and suggestions;
3. There is a possibility that not every participant will be comfortable sharing their thoughts with other participants (this is especially difficult for introverted people);
4. Not all participants may want to take an active part in the discussion, otherwise there will be no result, because every thought is important;
5. For an effective and positive result, all team members must be sincerely interested in the activities of the company where they work, or in the conduct of a particular business (a big plus if this is a favorite thing).
There are two types of brainstorming: group and individual. Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine exactly which one is more effective and brings the best results. On the one hand, a large number of people are involved in a group (usually from 6 to 12 people; the main thing is that they all work together, and not in separate groups, otherwise the result will not be what we would like to see, in the end), which can be both and interfere with the process, and vice versa, allow you to think big. But in the case of the individual, you only have your own head and the ideas that come into it. Do not forget that success depends on how consistently and non-conflictingly your team is able to work. Perhaps this is the reason why individual brainstorming is preferable and more effective.
And now it’s time to figure out how to use this technique. A quick tip: it is best to brainstorm in a room with light-colored walls, without distracting or irritating elements. This is necessary in order to concentrate as much as possible and not be distracted by anything. The brainstorming session itself can be done while sitting, standing, or even lying down.
1. Prepare for a brainstorming process that can take several hours. First you need to create a pleasant atmosphere, make sure that nothing will be distracted, turn off all mobile phones in the classroom or office, prepare water in advance (which stimulates and improves brain function) and the necessary items (chairs, notebooks and pens). If you are planning to conduct a group brainstorming session, be sure to alert your team ahead of time so that they have the opportunity to prepare and collect their thoughts. If suddenly people see each other for the first time, then do a little warm-up and introduce them to each other.
2. Define your roles in the process. Decide who will write ideas on a whiteboard or flipchart.
3. Determine the problem to be solved. Make sure everyone understands what this is about. Just in case, provide all the necessary information in detail.
4. Do not immediately start proposing and writing down all the ideas in a row, set aside some time for reflection.
5. Start sharing your thoughts. Do not in any way insult, condemn or laugh at the ideas of the people around you, even if they sound ridiculous, funny and meaningless. Support and praise each other.
6. Be sure to write down all the ideas so that, in the end, not just forget them, but try to implement them, since even the stupidest idea can bring incredible success.