Brainstorming is a technique used to come up with new ideas

Brainstorming is a technique used to come up with new ideas to solve an existing problem, to develop a product, or to use something. Brainstorming helps to come up with new ideas, so its uses are multiple. This method is widespread and easy to implement. This method is characterized by the following:

It depends on group thinking and therefore the number of ideas is much more than if one person thought to solve the problem

The process of evaluating ideas is postponed until after all ideas are generated, which helps to run the mind and reach many ideas

As a result of the involvement of a large number of different disciplines in this process, this encourages them to support the final decision or solution

How to apply

Suppose we want to develop our company’s product, which is plastic containers for household use in kitchens and refrigerators. How can we reach many new ideas that no one has preceded us with? We will hold a meeting attended by many of those related to this product from marketing, manufacturing, research, and so on. Someone leads the meeting and explains the purpose of the meeting and the need for us to develop plastic packaging to increase our competitive edge. Then he invites those present to suggest any ideas for the development of plastic containers and explains the value of everyone’s participation and the importance of the subject, noting the following:

Suggest any ideas regardless of their applicability

Suggest ideas without evaluating them – the evaluation process comes after you have finished listing ideas
We welcome and encourage ideas that are out of the ordinary and as crazy as they may seem
No one is allowed to reject any proposal or discuss its feasibility – the evaluation process comes after the completion of an inventory of ideas

One of the attendees can propose an idea based on an idea proposed by another or himself in the same session and even encourage this method

There must be an atmosphere of complete freedom in proposing ideas

The meeting leader makes sure that the attendees are involved and that no one person dominates the meeting
The meeting leader encourages people to think and suggest more ideas

The meeting leader (or someone else) records the ideas without discussion on something visible to all, such as a blackboard or projector, and they are numbered for reference

The process may end with the meeting time ending, which may be half an hour, an hour, or longer, or with no new ideas. Group sessions may be held on multiple days to generate more ideas

Ideas are evaluated later in the same meeting or at a subsequent meeting. Prior to the evaluation, similar ideas may be grouped, or ideas may be divided into groups and a list of good, viable ideas may be concluded. The final decision may be made by those present or not, depending on the subject, the administrative level of those present, and the authority delegated to them

Things to consider

Since the brainstorming process depends on the release of the mind and liberation from the constraints of thinking, it is preferable that the attendees be at a close functional level. The presence of a senior job level with much lower levels may make the process a failure because many of the attendees will follow the idea of the senior official and there may be fear that their ideas will be criticized

The session leader should not be biased towards a particular direction or idea

It is preferable not to deviate from the thinking process and suggest ideas. Therefore, it is preferable that there is no possibility of interruption of the session by answering phones or the like

If the attendees do not have long experience in brainstorming, they must be informed of the rules of the process in advance, that ideas are not criticized during their presentation, and that they may suggest ideas derived from ideas that have been proposed before … to the last rules of brainstorming. A five-minute rehearsal may also be done on a topic to ensure that the audience has understood the rules

Participants in the brainstorming process must be informed of the implementation steps so that they can be sure that their efforts have had an impact and to participate seriously in future brainstorming meetings.

The number of attendees and their specialization varies according to the topic. The number of attendees must be unobstructed and generally there is a difference in the ideal number and it may be from five to twelve. I think that if a larger number of people want to participate, several sessions should be held with different individuals
In the event that it is difficult for the attendees to speak freely and they fear expressing an opinion, brainstorming can be used, but by writing so that each of them writes down all the ideas that come to him on a piece of paper on which his name is not written, then the ideas are collected and presented for discussion

Another brainstorming technique is for the attendees to be given a period of time to write down their proposals, which are then grouped and presented, and then given another period of time to write down other ideas, which are then grouped and presented

In the previous method, some suggested that ideas be collected orally – after writing them – from those present periodically, in the sense that they are asked for their suggestions in the order of their seating, then they are passed over again, and so on. In the event that the person does not have a new proposal, then the next one is moved to. This method may encourage everyone to participate. But I think that it depends on the nature of those present – and it may differ from country to country – this method may cause great embarrassment to the person whose ideas have been carried out, which makes him avoid participating in this process again
Brainstorming is used in matters that need to propose ideas, as it is not used in solving problems that have a specific solution that can be reached by calculations, measurements, or scientific analysis.

In the event that it is not possible to do brainstorming in a group for one reason or another, you can use the same method and do it alone, because separating the evaluation stage from the idea-suggestion stage has a good effect on the individual or group level.

Brainstorming can be used in combination with other methods to increase creativity. For example, brainstorming is often used to solve problems using a fishbone diagram

Side benefits

Finally, brainstorming makes meetings more orderly and makes people think more orderly. for example:

The method of writing proposals and then evaluating them makes it impossible to go back to discussing rejected proposals again after a few minutes have passedfit

This method prevents a meeting to solve a problem or develop a product from turning into chaos and hustle
Brainstorming encourages us and teaches us that all human beings have the ability to think and that great ideas can come from a very low level of functioning.

The process of building on the ideas of others develops a spirit of cooperation rather than a spirit of aggression and criticism

The stages of the brainstorming process make the meeting organized, its stages known, and its purpose declared and clear

We often attend meetings where we listen to great ideas and then leave and no decision is taken, but this method makes choosing the best proposals part of the meeting and thus reduces the chance of leaving without any decision

Brainstorming has effects on workers such as increasing creativity, motivating workers, and encouraging entrepreneurship


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