Internal Practices



The term “brainstorming” was coined in the 1950s by Alex Osborne. Having a group brainstorm often results in a variety of expanded ideas that otherwise may not have been explored or developed further had one person been concepting a project.

Here are a few tips to assist in your company’s next brainstorming session:

  • Have team members come to the brainstorming session with a set amount of ideas jotted down on a piece of paper. This will help the group get thinking about the project/problem prior to meeting. This task will make an efficient use of time with ideas that can be thrown on the table for discussion immediately.
  • If it helps for team members to sketch or doodle quick thoughts to express their ideas, encourage them to do so.
  • Put all ideas on the metaphorical table, begin discussing all of the ideas. Then narrow down the ideas to the top few ideas that seem to be the most effective.

Comments (1)

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    Noizy Aug 25 2012 - 5:54 pm Reply

    I would, as you suggest, binarstorm only after individual ideation. However, I think ignoring ideas generated in the group would be a big mistake! The studies you’re referring to suggest that the reasons that group binarstorming kills ideas is that we can lose our individual idea development bandwidth and time during a group discussion and that group dynamics can stifle creativity. But they also say that Individual+group ideation time is better than either on their own! Diversity of group members perspectives and experience help us build on one another’s ideas, much like it benefits an individual’s creativity to expand their knowledge base. Ignoring ideas generated during a group session is ill-advised. Perhaps we’re looking at different studies? I’m no professor I just took a final in a creativity & innovation class for my MBA. It’s fascinating stuff I’m glad there are people who are seriously and systematically looking at it! Cheers!

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