01 Mar Brainstorming
Monday 1st March 2021
When I am working within an organisation brainstorming helps me to drill down finding out the employees feeling towards the business. This helps me to draw out employees’ ideas and feelings. I use brainstorming techniques to glean and gain a better insight into the working practices and culture of the business.
What is Brainstorming?
Brainstorming is a process for developing creative solutions to problems. It is a technique that allows businesses or organisations to generate new and useful ideas by promoting cross-fertilisation of concepts within a business or organisation that will bring together joined-up and creative thinking within its own employee base. This type of thinking will help businesses and organisations define projects, find solutions to problems that can then be worked on, within the business or organisation helping to identify possible resistance to new proposed ideas or solutions.
Alex Faickney Osborn, an advertising manager, is the man who popularised the method in 1953, in his book, Applied Imagination. Ten years later, he proposed that teams could double their creative output with brainstorming (Osborn 1963)!
Brainstorming works by using small groups of people who can focus on problems and then deliberately produce as many solutions as possible then pushing the ideas as far as they can. It is equally good when management wants to develop new strategies or are planning for future growth. These small groups of people who generally are not asked are given the chance and feel empowered that they are being recognised. One of the reasons why it is so effective is that those people not only harvest new ideas in their session, but it also sparks off association with others around the tables and their ideas, helping hone them into logical paths to move forward.
There are basically four basic ground rules to follow when running a Brainstorming Session:
- Reduce inhibitions working within a group.
- Stimulation of ideas, there are no dumb or stupid ideas. Period.
- Absolutely no criticism of someone’s ideas.
- To increase through solid leadership of the facilitator, overall creativity.
Great brainstorming is one of the most powerful and one of the most misunderstood methods in a manager’s toolbox. It is an incredibly special kind of collaboration which has specific rules of behaviour designed to maximise the cross-fertilisation of idea.
Many people say they know how to brainstorm and unfortunately very few do it well because they are generally too close to the action.
One of the main reasons for holding a brainstorming meeting whether face to face or over a Zoom meeting, is to increase the volume of possible ideas. Distributing the problem to say 5 -10 people, you will obtain a larger array of ideas much faster than you would on your owner or with just one other person. Also, the person who has the final decisions will be benefited from a collective involvement in the group brainstorming session, so making it much easier converting the decisions into action.
Even through my Motivational-Networking Groups and Mastermind Groups we are so lucky because lots of interactive conversation and ideas are forever flowing through the groups and I know from the feedback I get participants love it.
I have over the years used brainstorming sessions in many companies trying to find out what needs doing in the business to help it move forward. These sessions should always come from the ordinary workers on the shop floor or offices inside the business, not from the middle management because they are generally happy with the status quo inside the business and you do not want them, or directors involved in the brainstorming sessions.
The people on the shop floor or office are the very people you want to hear it from, as mentioned. Any ideas however strange, silly, or stupid may just spark an idea to improve things.
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