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Muhammad Fayyaz What is Brainstorming? Types of Brainstorming: Rules of Brainstorming What is brainstorming used for? Benefits of brainstorming Risks from brainstorming and how to overcome them A summary of the introduction to brainstorming
Sohaib Furqan How to do Traditional Brainstorming How to brainstorm in a medium-sized group Rules of Brainstorming A summary of traditional brainstormingMuhammad Bilal Advanced Brainstorming Creativity and Creative Thinking How do Creative Thinking techniques work? what creative thinking techniques are available? How to use the Random Word technique How to use the Random Picture technique How to use the False Rules technique
Brainstorming is a process for generating new ideasBrainstorming is "a conference technique by which agroup attempts to find a solution for a specificproblem by amassing all the ideas spontaneously by itsmembers" - Alex OsbornTo brainstorm is to use a set of specific rules andtechniques which encourage and spark off new ideaswhich would never have happened under normalcircumstances
Traditional AdvancedBrainstorming Brainstorming
Traditional BrainstormingThe normal view of brainstorming is where a group of people sit in a room andshout out ideas as they occur to them. They are told to lose their inhibitions andthat no ideas will be judged so that people are free to shout out any ideas at allwithout feeling uncomfortable. People should build on the ideas called out by otherparticipants. The purpose of this is to gain as many ideas as possible for lateranalysis. Out of the many ideas suggested there will be some of great value.Because of the free-thinking environment, the session will help promote radicalnew ideas which break free from normal ways of thinking.
Advanced BrainstormingThe model we propose is an extension of the traditional brainstorming scenarioand makes the whole process easier and more effective. Advanced brainstormingbuilds on the current methods of brainstorming to produce more original ideas ina more efficient way. Specialized techniques, better processes and betterawareness, combined with new technologies, make traditional brainstorming aless frustrating process. Most of the problems associated with traditionalbrainstorming disappear as a more effective process is used.
Advertising campaigns Engineering componentsMarketing strategy and Government policiesmethods Consumer researchResearch and FactoriesDevelopment procedures Management methodsResearch techniques Company structure andPatents policyPhysical products Investment decisionsWritten documents and New industriesarticles Better insurance policiesServices New and better ... whateverProcesses you want!
Benefits of brainstorming What if you developed new ways of saving money? What if you spotted a new opportunity in the market? What if you developed a new product which became the market leader? What if you could double your productivity? What if you could cut down paperwork and bureaucracy?All of these have been done through brainstorming techniques.If you perform them too then you will benefit directly from therewards given to you by others. You will also benefit by beinghappier about yourself and the contribution you are making tosociety.
Even though traditional brainstorming can bring benefits to thewhole group, it can sometimes reduce individual recognition.But you can still be recognized as (1) being good atbrainstorming, (2) for being responsible for introducing betterbrainstorming techniques and (3) you can even use AdvancedBrainstorming by yourself and create new solutions which areaccredited to you alone.
Risks from brainstorming and how to overcome themThe risk of losing your faith in brainstorming because of a lack of knowledge
Advanced BrainstormingAdvanced brainstorming is an improved process which increases thesuccess rate of brainstorming and involves using creative thinkingtechniques to increase the number and diversity of new ideas.Advanced brainstorming will make your brainstorming sessions runsmoother and more efficiently because you will never be stuck for anew idea. Modern tools and techniques for idea generation also allowbrainstorming to be done effectively by an individual person.Brainstorming sessions are followed using the standard rules but areimproved upon by using specialized techniques and tools.
Tools and techniques of advanced brainstorming
What is creativity?Creativity is the bringing into being of something which did notexist before, either as a product, a process or a thought.What is creative thinking?Creative thinking is the process which we use when we come upwith a new idea.
How do Creative Thinking techniques work?Creative thinking techniques work to stimulate original ideas. Newideas happen when two or more ideas are accidentally or deliberatelymerged when they have never been merged before. Creative thinkingtechniques provide the method for deliberately combining ideas inways which you would not normally come across or think about.This combination generates a truly original idea for you.The creative thinking process looks like this:
The most basic and obviously creative technique where you use a randomword (hence the name!) to generate new ideas By getting a random wordas a prompt and forcing yourself to use it to solve your problem you arepractically guaranteed to attack the problem from a different direction tonormal. You take a word from a random word generator, extract itsunderlying principles and then apply them to your problem to see howthey can help. The skill is stopping your mind from (a) thinking this issilly and (b) directly using the actual principles behind the word to yourproblem without changing them to ones which are easier to applyThe first thing you need is the random word itself which is classed as theinitial stimulus. Next, you establish a bridging idea, which is an ideabased on the stimulus. This is used, as the name implies, as a bridgebetween the stimulus and an idea which you could actually use on yourproblem. The simplest way to get a random word is using our dedicatedsoftware (Brainstorming Toolbox) to give you a random word at the touchof a button
This method is very similar to the random word technique and many of itsworking principles are explained in that section, so please read that first if youhavent already. You should also read the section on methods of using a stimulusfor new ideasThe first thing you need for this technique is, fairly obviously, a random picture.This is then used as a prompt to come up with new ideas and solutions. You canget such an image from brainstorming software or you can select it at randomyourself from a magazine, encyclopedia or picture book. You can also use apicture from a website (see the Random Website technique).You should look at the picture, extract a concept or idea from it and use this idea tostimulate a possible solution to your problem. Try to see anything in the picturewhich reminds you of your problem and how it might be solved. What activitiesare going on? What situations are being faced? Why are the people doing whatthey are doing? What principles are being used?
With a picture in front of you, extract an idea from it, or imagine a similartheme/person/action happening within your own situation.Next think of how you can use that new situation/object/attitude in your ownsituation. It does not immediately have to be a positive solution but you maylater be able to move from it to a good solution You must be careful of deciding that a specific picture is of no use and getting another instead. If you do this then often you are just trying to choose a random picture which obviously fits into the problem you are trying to solve and therefore you end up with a picture which is not random. Again, the skill is to work out HOW the picture can be made to fit.
One you have got a false rule, there are many ways of using it, including
Using the Random Website technique you look at a random website, gather the ideaswhich are used there and use them to come up with new ideas and solutions foryourself. You are looking for ways in which you can use the products, solutions, ideasand concepts behind the website to reapply in your own field and problem area
Things to watch out for when using the techniqueYou must be careful of deciding that a specific website is of no use andgetting another instead. If you do this then often you are just trying tochoose a random website which obviously fits into the probortunity youare trying to investigate, and therefore you end up with a website whichis not random. Again, the skill is to work out HOW the website can bemade to fit.
The SCAMPER technique uses a set of directed questions which youanswer about your probortunity in order to come up with new ideas. Thestimulus comes from forcing yourself to answer questions which youwould not normally pose. The questions direct you to thinking about aprobortunity in ways which typically come up with new ideas.SCAMPER is an acronym which stands for questions relating to thefollowing
Think about changing part or all of the current situation, or to distort itin an unusual way. By forcing yourself to come up with new ways ofworking, you are often prompted into an alternative product/process.Typical questions: What happens if I warp or exaggerate a feature orcomponent? What will happen if I modify the process in some way?Think of how you might be able to put your current solution/product/process to other purposes, or think of what you could reusefrom somewhere else in order to solve your own probortunity. Youmight think of another way of solving your own probortunity or findinganother market for your product.Typical questions: What other market could I use this product in? Whoor what else might be able to use it?
Who else has solved this probortunity? What similar area of expertise might have solved this probortunity? Is there anyone else in the company who knows how to solve this? What else could we use to solve the probortunity? Where else might this probortunity have been solved? What other companies might know how to solve this? What similar problems have been solved, and how? What other industries face the same probortunity and what do they do about it?By answering these questions you can often come across trains of thought which help to solve your probortunity
How to use the Role Play techniqueOne of the great ways of changing the way you see the world is to see it fromsomeone elses point of view. This technique allows you to change yourperspective by getting you to role play a different person and see how they wouldapproach the problem. Different people use different bits of information andknowledge to approach the same problem and its extremely helpful to view atask from different angles. Have you ever noticed that an artist and amathematician will approach a subject from different angles and different waysof thinking? Imagine the ideas you will have as you take the role of bothoccupations and play around with the displacements of thought!First you need to select an occupation to role play. The easiest way to get this isto use a computer to select from a list of occupations (eg. using BrainstormingToolbox) but you can always use a paper version or make one up on the spot. Arandomly selected list is best so that you dont select easy or less challengingones.
When you have your occupation to role play then try to approach theprobortunity in the way that this person would do it. How would they think? What objects and items would they be using? Where would they be doing it? How would they see the problem? What action would they take? How would they explain the problem? How would they solve the problem?See how many different ways you can approach the problems and itssolutions using your new assumed personality.
How to use the Challenge Facts techniqueHow many facts are really facts and how many are just the most reasonable, educatedguess based upon the knowledge known at the time? It is very rare that anything remainsan undeniable fact for too long, especially when you consider peoples views anddifferently acquired knowledge. We are in a constant state of change. We thinkdifferently as we gain knowledge and skills in thinking. One generation to the next havedifferent aims, ambitions and morals. What might be seen as a good thing by onegeneration could be seen as a bad thing by the next. Political parties change their views,as do their voters. Due to personal circumstances, individuals can change their wholephilosophy of life within months. Technology and other inventions now change theworld faster than most people can keep up with. What seemed impossible one week canbecome plausible the next, reality within months and an accepted way of life in a year ortwo. This is not really surprising when you consider the combined, diverse thoughtpower of billions of people spread across the globe.How do you know that what you considered to be a fact in the past has now becomeinappropriate due to changes which have happened since then? Might you now beable to improve your current product because of a change in human values orlifestyles?
With Escapism you can propose the wildest, most outrageous andpreposterous things you can imagine. You use true escapism wherethere are no morals, rules, etiquette, laws or standards. You escapethe physical limitations of the world to see what your ultimatesolution would be. You should not limit yourself by anything exceptyour own imagination, and even this you should push.Your mission in this technique is to write down the wildest, mostridiculous, stupid, wacky ideas you can come up with to solve theprobortunity. They do not have to be practical, possible or evensensible
How to use the Analogy techniqueThe greatest thing by far, is to be a master of the metaphor - Aristotle
What does your situation or your probortunity remind you of? What other areas of life/work experience similar situations? Who does similar things but not in your area of expertise?Often an analogy will include the words "... is like ..."Examples. Running a business is like managing a theatre production Changing a tyre on a car is like putting your shoes on (PS tyre = tire using US spelling) Selling to our customers is like being a second-hand car salesmanAnother way is to force an analogy and create something which you will makethe analogy to.