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Brainstorming is an activity that seeks to produce a broad or diverse
set of options through the rapid and uncritical generation of ideas.
Brainstorming works by focusing on a topic or problem and then coming up
with many possible solutions to it.
This technique is best applied in a
group as it draws on the experience and creativity of all members of the
group. In the absence of a group, one could brainstorm on one's own to spark
To heighten creativity, participants are encouraged to use
new ways of looking at things and freely associate in any direction. When
facilitated properly, brainstorming can be fun, engaging, and productive.
1 Preparation • Develop
a clear and concise definition of the area of interest. • Determine a time
limit for the group to generate ideas; the larger the group, the more time
required. • Identify the facilitator and participants in the session (aim
for six to eight participants who represent a range of backgrounds and
experience with the topic). • Set expectations with participants and get
their buy-in to the process. • Establish the criteria for evaluating and
rating the ideas. .
2 Session • Share new ideas without any discussion,
criticism, or evaluation. • Visibly record all ideas. • Encourage
participants to be creative, share exaggerated ideas, and build on the ideas
of others. • Don't limit the number of ideas as the goal is to elicit as
many as possible within the time period. .
3 Wrap-up • Once the time
limit is reached, discuss and evaluate the ideas using the predetermined
evaluation criteria. • Create a condensed list of ideas, combine ideas where
appropriate, and eliminate duplicates. • Rate the ideas, and then distribute
the final list of ideas to the appropriate parties.
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