Brainstorming is an individual or group creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion for a specific problem by gathering of ideas spontaneously contributed by participants.
Brainstorming is a great way to come up with ideas. The goal of brainstorming is to come up with a long list of “crazy ideas”.
Brainstorming gets people to think in ways they don’t normally. It is important to have fun and not criticize (don’t say, “what a stupid idea”).
Many products you enjoy would have been developed with brainstorming techniques;
- video games. Imagine all the idea thinking that goes into developing characters and situations they face in a game. Whenever you think about improving a game; you are brainstorming.
- movies – characters, costumes, filming locations and cast.
- songs you enjoy were developed through brainstorming for the idea for the song.
- the content and website of TeachingKidsBusiness.com took many hours of idea thinking to develop the materials you are reading.
The basic rules are:
- Quantity, not quality (more is better); it is important to generate as many ideas as possible and don’t worry how good they are at this stage.
- No ideas can be criticized and no idea is too wild to write down. Remember they are all good ideas at this stage.
- It doesn’t matter who came up with the idea first, work together to build on it and generate more ideas.
- Pick something you have to arrive at a decision on. (examples; what gift to give, vacation activities, how to spend next Saturday afternoon)
- Think of several ideas – think about as many ideas or options that you and a group can think of individually or as a group.
- Once you have exhausted the ideas or options you have – then you are completed brainstorming.
- Try this a number of time for different problems, opportunities or situations you have to deal with.
The lesson learned is to consider ideas without preventing yourself or ideas to think openly and without judgement. The goal is to think about things you would not normally consider or not take the time to consider. The decision making is not part of brainstorming . Once you have explored many ideas; the decision making becomes much easier.
Like all skill development; it is helpful to understand the skills and find the time to improve. The experience of doing brainstorming often will improve your skill level of brainstorming.
Make sure to update your résumé with your new or improved skill of brainstorming.