Friday 14 December 2018

Brainstorming exercises

A brainstorming exercise for groups involves using an online mind-mapping tool to answer very specific questions or generate ideas. Some of the best-proven brainstorming exercises your team can use to get maximum creativity out of each person during your next brainstorming get-together.

On more than one occasion we've spoken or made reference to a curious instrument or tool of group that facilitates the emergence of new ideas about a topic or particular problem. It is the so-called rain of ideas or "Brainstorming". Today we will talk extensively about it.


Alex f. Osborn, co-founder of the giant American advertising agency, Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, conceived the strategy of brainstorming in the early 1950's. The publication of his book Applied Imagination, the Bible in regards to this concept, allowed that this technique is known and applied in countless meeting rooms. In essence, brainstorming is a type of dynamic group whose objective is to generate ideas, a procedure to mobilize the creative resources of a group, to solve problems and propose options.

Organizations adopted the approach of Osborn because, as U.S. companies are increasingly, ideas were needed to speed up the production of new products, processes and services. For many, the approach of Osborn appeared sent by heaven. It was no longer necessary to rely on the inspiration to get answers. The groups could meet, applying this technique and get quickly the ideas and possible solutions to the problems; then evaluate all propositions in order to rule out the useless and Polish and apply the rest.

After a while, this strategy, like many others in the Administration, fulfilled its lifecycle (concept of life which we will discuss in another post) and its popularity faded; but their effectiveness continues to make it recommendable for managers.


Brainstorming technique can be useful to resolve any issue, whether practical or hypothetical, such that arises in the workplace. It can also be applied in any situation where you need to contribute ideas. This strategy works best when they face very specific challenges, which should be solved in the short term, and not for those deeply-rooted or complex. It is has proved to be a very useful for executives practice when they have "urgent" problems and need the creativity of the members of your group to solve them.


Let's list the steps required to implement this procedure:

Broken into its parts the problem or situation that needs remedy.

Osborn points out that, for example, if we ask ourselves how introducing a new synthetic fabric, we are considering the problem in a way that is too broad. This should be broken into three sub problems: to) "Ideas to introduce the new fiber weavers and mills"; (b) "Ideas to introduce the new fiber between the cutters and the workshops where drawing up clothes"; and (c) "Ideas to introduce the new fiber between seller’s retail".

Get a board room, a moderator who knows the technique and a group of participants.

It is valid to include in the group people who are not directly related to the problem, but exclude those who can not participate actively in the solution of the difficulty that faces. Your silence will make them feel uncomfortable and perhaps discouraged the other participants. Or worse still, perhaps try to participate and alter the course of the Board.

Appoint a person to be responsible for registering the suggestions.

There are several options, but it should not be used a tape recorder. You may have to refer to something that was said before, and the exclusive use of this, cause annoying delays. Instruct someone to write down the basic ideas in a portfolio - this way may collect at the end of the first phase of the meeting or on paper. Along with the above, you can use a recorder in order to have support if it is necessary to clarify the confusing annotations.

Explain to the group what are the rules of the meeting:

  • You must be more spontaneous and express ideas as soon as they arise.

  • There are no limits. They are free to say anything that comes to mind, and that is not imposing any kind of self-censorship. That don't you worry if an idea appears too ambitious or too far-fetched.

  • Criticism should not be made. This is very important. The leader should be prohibit to make negative comments. That carry the intention of ridicule or humiliate, as: "That is very trite", "It won't work", and so on.

  • The quantity is important. In this case is valuable to the amount, as it can contribute to the quality. If one gets to make the case that some of the participant’s reconsider some of the ideas. That someone made before, i.e., that propose something base on the modification of an already exposed. Not prevent it, as often so achieve come up with a good solution.

  • Make sure the person who take notes to record all the suggestions and use words. That accurately reflect the basic idea.

  • End the session when it considers that the group no longer has more ideas to contribute.


The best thing is that this task be entrust to a small group, or even a single person. Who is able to separate the useful ideas from the rest. On average, the percentage of good ideas ranges from 5 to 10 percent of the total.

Purge, combine and improve ideas chosen.

The "Evaluation Committee" must be clear that ideas that are retained are the raw material that will be transform into the expect answers when the propositions is debugging, restate, or combine two ideas to achieve greater efficiency.

Keep informed to the group.

You must inform the Group about the results of their effort. This is recommend in all cases, but it is essential if in the future. It is plan to return to seek help from the members that compose it.

To conclude today's theme, I propose an interesting video. A brief introduction to the Brainstorming, creative thinking tools. Even and how to brainstorm for the resolution of problems.

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