Step # 1
Define a question for
which there is a real need
Find a brainstorming question for which
there’s a real need to find answers and
a realistic possibility to change things.
Step # 2
Find a neutral person to
moderate the process
Brainstorm facilitating is a service.
It is supposed to be a selfless act that enables
others to arrive at their own solutions.
A great facilitator
nurtures the conversation in its early stages,
steps out of the way as the ideas start to flow,
jumps in when energy starts to disappear.
The client should not be in charge of running
They must keep their heads in the content
and not worry about or unduly influence the
3 advantages of Internet brainstorming
Advantage # 1:
On the Internet, people who talk a lot don’t disturb others, because they are not heard.
Advantage # 2:
On some brainstorming sites, for example http://answergarden.ch/, ideas are
anonymously communicated. Thereby, less dominant people can easier communicate
Advantage # 3:
On some brainstorming sites, for example http://www.brainfloor.com/, people are not
exposed to each others’ ideas in the idea generation phase. That may increase the
diversity of ideas.
Try an unusual
example a zoo.
Step # 4
Invite both external and
internal participants to
The broader the mix of participants, the
more interesting the ideas are likely to be.
Pick people who can answer
the question you’re asking.
What about including external people?
Research shows that bringing together individuals
with diverse backgrounds can enhance the flow
of ideas, making people more open to new
information and finding ways to integrate it into
Ask participants to independently
prepare ideas before the brainstorm.
That helps introverted people get the
quietness they need to develop good ideas.
The power of group brainstorming comes
from creating a safe place where people
with different ideas can share, blend, and
extend their diverse knowledge.
No negative judgments.
Pittampalli, Al: Read this before our next meeting, location 405.
Participants are encouraged to come up with
Develop as many ideas as possible.
The goal of this brainstorming session is for
you to come up with at least X ideas
that answer the question.
Brainstorming should begin with
individuals working alone first.
Michael J. Gelb: Creativity on demand, page 178.
As ideas, participants can also bring in
products / materials / things
they find relevant.
During the first 5 to 10 minutes, ask participants
to individually write down as many ideas as
they can, for example on sticky notes.
Thereby, introverts maximize their contribution.
Divide people up in teams of about
5 people – each led by a facilitator.
Get people standing and active.
Studies show that during walks, creative
output can increase as much as 60%.
The moderator encourages participants
to build on ideas of each other.
Studies show that the most revolutionary
solutions spring from group discussion
of ideas hatched in isolation.
After having done some minutes of brainstorming,
the moderator could interrupt participants and ask
them to do something completely unrelated to
brainstorming, for example take a walk around the
Then, the moderator gives participants some more
time in a room to focus on developing more ideas.
4 criteria to use when selecting great ideas
1. Which ideas are the most valuable for users?
2. Which ideas can be quickly implemented?
3. Which ideas involve the lowest costs?
4. Which ideas are the most inspiring?
Step # 10
Each participant chooses
ideas he/she wants to try out
Brainstorming is the start of something.
Each participant decides what to do next
with one or more ideas.