Everyone faces problems, from a pair of roommates trying to fit a new sofa up a narrow staircase to the international corporation figuring out a way to accommodate growth, life is speckled with challenging situations to be overcome. One dynamic way to solve these problems is through brainstorming tools, using various techniques developed by experts and tested through repeated use. Here’s how to get yourself or a group started in solving problems you might have thought were unsolvable.
Brainstorming encourages the production of ideas in an abstract manner, quite often with results that seem bizarre at first. These ideas then evolve into practical and highly useful concepts. Most brainstorming tools help to amplify the already amazing human process of overcoming thinking barriers, by streamlining the creative energies everyone has. The ideas generated may themselves be applicable solutions to the problem at hand or just a springboard to other, more elaborate solutions. Whether individual or in groups, brainstorming takes people out of their conventional wisdom mode and puts them in the fast lane for innovative thinking.
At no point during these collaborations is criticism as a part of the process. Out-of-the-box thinking mandates that a certain level of craziness be present. Since whatever problem you or the group is trying to solve has qualities that limit, such as limit production, profits or progress, the solutions being sought must be limitless. Any type of critical analysis only stifles the creative process. Brainstorming tools help you break out of that critical, conventional way of approaching the problem-solving process.
Only after the brainstorming process is complete is serious conventional wisdom applied, thus giving the most elaborate or off the wall ideas time to ferment and hopefully, evolve into the solution being sought.
The more complex the problem, the more minds need to be at work solving it. Group brainstorming is usually suited for the more complex situations involving many facets, whereas individual sessions are designed to attack less complicated situations and produce a new set of ideas relative to a single issue.
Make preparations to the environment – Supply each individual with the tools they will need to participate, such as paper and pen or a whiteboard or chalkboard. The arena should be uncluttered, comfortable and have adequate lighting, preferably from a natural source. Have everything on hand, including coffee and other necessities, to ensure no participant needs to go looking for something outside of the brainstorming area.
Identify the problem at hand – Spell it out as clearly as possible, including giving a history of how the problem evolved, who it affects, how much it costs and the eventual damage it’s going to do if it remains unsolved. Improve focus on the problem itself and keep the attention of everyone in the room zeroed in on only that specific problem.Focus entirely on the problem and keep the attention of everyone zeroed in on it #focus #theproblemClick To Tweet
Adopt some of the most promising ideas – Some ideas will naturally have more appeal than others. Select the most suitable as the discussion proceeds and elaborate on them further. Direct the thinking along the path of these solutions and keep the focus on improving and implementing the idea.
Types Of Brainstorming Tools
There are a number of tools and techniques, from the free and frivolous to the much more expensive and elaborate problem-solving systems. Each technique, though, has been developed from grounded scientific perspective.
- The Charette Procedure – Most effective in larger groups, where smaller subgroups are formed and each contributes a succession of ideas.
- The Starbursting Technique – Where questions are formed based on the problem at hand, the answers to which lead to eventual creative and effective solutions.
- Reverse Brainstorming – Thinking from a reverse perspective when approaching the problem, such as how to break something, in order to figure out how to repair it. This procedure can be a very thought-provoking way to develop a product or improve upon it.
The End Results
Brainstorming and the tools that go with it are invaluable at leveraging thinking power and putting it to work finding solutions. When people are incorporated into the process, they feel personally invested in seeing things through fostering loyalty and teamwork. Individuals engaged in brainstorming become inspired and driven to new heights of personal achievement because the thought barriers have been lifted. If this article has helped you, be sure to also share it with others via links on the left.
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