Brainstorming: 4 ways to get the creative juices flowing
Though it’s sometimes believed that inspiration “hits when you least expect it,” this is an ineffective strategy for stimulating invention and creativity. Just recall an instance when you or a team you were a member of needed to find a solution to a specific issue. It may be as straightforward as selecting a theme for a corporate party or formulating plans to meet your goals for the current quarter. Your mind stops working as soon as you start coming up with thoughts.
What you require is a plan to encourage the flow of your creative ideas. The solution is to brainstorm. The best ideas can emerge when brainstorming is incorporated into the problem-solving process since it encourages cooperation and creative thinking. To learn how to brainstorm ideas like an expert, follow these four steps.
Related Content: WHAT IS BRAINSTORMING?
History Of Brainstorming
The act of brainstorming did not occur suddenly. When advertising executive Alex Osborn discovered that conventional business meetings weren’t the best place to communicate new ideas, he originally invented the phrase in 1941. He sought a means of enabling people to think creatively without worrying about rejection.
Osborn asserted that the following two rules increased “ideative efficacy”: avoid criticism and prioritize quantity over quality.
Osborn developed the four rules of productive brainstorming based on these principles: concentrate on quantity, refrain from criticism, accept unconventional ideas, and combine and improve ideas. These guidelines were intended to develop a collaborative environment that encouraged absurd and innovative ideas by encouraging people to think in fresh and different ways.
According to Osborn, brainstorming should be utilized to achieve a specific objective or challenge. Without a clear aim or solution in mind, brainstorming may result in working in the wrong direction.
Osborn’s original approach is crucial for developing into an idea machine whether you are brainstorming on your own for personal projects and goals or working in a team.
A basic and organic method for coming up with ideas and addressing problems is brainstorming. It inspires people to come up with innovative ideas that initially may appear a little crazy. A few of these concepts can be developed into an original solution to a problem. Other ideas can spark even more creative solutions and ideas.
1. Focus on quantity
The adage “quality over quantity” is probably one you’ve heard, yet when it comes to brainstorming, the exact opposite is true. The more thoughts, the better.
Work toward quantity to generate as many ideas as you can rather than trying to conceive of one big concept. This approach will give you additional possibilities and may stimulate creative thinking in others. Though not every idea will be brilliant, one lousy one could inspire numerous fantastic ones.
In the end, the likelihood that there will be more useful ideas to work from increases with the number of ideas submitted.
2. Withhold criticism
The brainstorming process is not the place for negativity. There is no superior concept, therefore limiting the number of ideas that are communicated directly challenges Osborn’s first principle of quantity above quality.
By eliminating criticism, a space is created where people can express their opinions freely without worrying about being labelled “wrong” or “dumb.”
People are more willing to share more ideas, including silly and entertaining ones, when they are no longer afraid of criticism. In order to effectively brainstorm, unusual ideas must be considered.
3. Welcome unusual ideas
Encourage the expression of all thoughts, odd or not. Even while they may not always be practical, eccentric and unconventional ideas can provide fresh ideas for problems that you hadn’t previously considered.
Being open to unconventionality during a brainstorming session encourages creativity and increases the number of ideas presented.
“It is easier to tone down a wild idea than to think up a new one.” — Alex Osborn
4. Combine and improve ideas
Develop concepts. Of course, not every concept will be feasible for your team, but you can use some as inspiration.
Concepts can be combined to produce new answers. Determine which concepts are workable, original, and best suited to achieving your objective by evaluating each one. Leverage those concepts and offer upgrades or related alternatives. No concept is perfect. Even though it wasn’t your idea in the first place, you can still contribute to improving it.
Let’s imagine that you and your team are discussing effective strategies for getting users to use your product. One suggestion made was to include tools and advice in the product dashboard. That concept inspires someone else to develop an interactive wizard that talks users through the features of the product.
Building on the ideas shared will help find the best solution to the goal or problem.
Since its inception, brainstorming has become a global phenomenon (pun intended). Everyone employs brainstorming strategies to stimulate their creative faculties. Now there are numerous methods for running more effective brainstorming sessions, including:
- Mind mapping
- 5 Whys analysis
- Rapid ideation
Check out these well-liked brainstorming techniques if you wish to try with more sophisticated strategies.
There are numerous approaches to brainstorming. Whether you like lists or are a more visual thinker, brainstorming is easier and more productive when you use Lucidchart to arrange your ideas.