A Handful of Tips 63 –
Generating Ideas (Brainstorming)
The five best tips for gathering ideas to solve problems
1. Select small groups of concerned people and appoint an enthusiastic skilful leader
The leader should explain the brainstorming technique i.e. members should suggest every idea on a topic, practical or impractical.
Wild ideas are encouraged.
Appoint and brief a recorder.
2. Start with warm up exercises
Produce a few common objects, like a brick, a belt or a tin, and see who can suggest the greatest number of uses for them. When ideas are flowing move on to your specific problem.
3. As ideas are suggested, the recorder writes them up for all to see
Don’t allow interruptions or criticisms. Look for ways to combine or improve ideas.
Classify ideas for further discussion into ‘possible’, ‘perhaps’ and ‘impossible’ solutions.
4. Set deadlines
If groups are slow to respond, take a break. Pair people off to discuss the topic before regrouping to try again.
Work under pressure for limited periods.
Small competitive groups are most effective.
5. Examine each idea thoroughly
Compare and discuss suggestions and how plans could be implemented.
Encourage each member to pick the ‘best idea’ and to compete for the ‘best solution’.
“Aim to go where you have never been before.”
Source: “Training Secrets. Helping adults learn”. (190p.) Published by Moss Associates Ltd, New Zealand and Cengage Learning Asia, Singapore.