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Brainstorming: definition, method, techniques

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Definition of brainstorming

Brainstorming can be defined as the process of generating a huge amount of ideas that are produced through an organized process with clear rules. It can be followed to derive ideas or even arrange them when a person feels that he is unable to find new creative ideas or when he lacks the inspiration that makes him able to come up with such ideas. Through which there are specialized points that refer to the general topic being thought of, so this scientific method can be followed when the human mind contains many ideas that he wishes to narrow and allocate more and more, or even rearrange them to appear useful, or even find a common relationship between these ideas In a way that allows the person to start properly planning the task at hand.

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The concept of brainstorming evolved

The use of brainstorming spread in many American companies after the success achieved by BBDO, and in 1958 AD, Donald Taylor at Yale University conducted a study comparing the effectiveness of group brainstorming compared to the use of brainstorming for each person separately, to show what is known as individual brainstorming, but this The study contained many defects that appeared as a result of not being restricted to Osborne’s method of group brainstorming, such as the small number of people in the groups on which this study was based, and the lack of professional experience in these people in the problems that were raised, and after that, many studies appeared. Which compared both the effectiveness of group and individual brainstorming sessions, based on the previous Yale University study, which led to the conclusion that individual brainstorming is more effective than the group, and new opinions emerged that dealt with changing the focus on quantity Osborne set, so it turned to The shift to focus on producing quality ideas regardless of their quantity, and these views led to the emergence of a school of thought that believes that individual brainstorming is better than the group, which led to the existence of a different definition for each of the work. Describe the group brainstorming and individual brainstorming.

Brainstorming

The basic rules of brainstorming

Alex Osborne’s development of the concept of brainstorming was based on his influence with the theories of creative thinking dating back to Graham Wallace, as Osborne laid down basic rules for brainstorming processes, and these rules are as follows:

  • Focus on quantity: This rule focuses on the final goal that is desired to be reached during the brainstorming process and depends on reaching the largest amount of ideas that are presented during brainstorming, regardless of the quality and effectiveness of those ideas.
  • Withholding criticism: This rule means not to direct criticism of any idea that is proposed during the brainstorming process, and to postpone judgment on these ideas until the completion of the process.
  • Acceptance of new ideas: where it encourages the presentation of all ideas, even if they are unusual and unfamiliar.
  • Ideas Development and Integration: The ideas resulting from the brainstorming process are combined, developed, and improved.

Types of brainstorming

There are two types of brainstorming: They are individual brainstorming and group brainstorming, and each of these two types has its distinctive characteristics and disadvantages. Individual brainstorming is more effective in producing better and more ideas to solve simple, ordinary, and general problems. Brainstorming individually can unleash its ideas and creativity without worrying about the presence of any other people sharing ideas that may address topics of its own, and to obtain the best results in this type of brainstorming, it is necessary to have a comfortable place free of distractions so that one can During it, he focused most of his focus on the proposition he wanted to think about so that he would be able to arrange his ideas and develop them through the use of mental maps.

While group brainstorming is considered to have a greater effect in solving complex problems, and it allows one to benefit from the experiences, ideas and creativity that are presented by the rest of the group’s people, which leads to the development of ideas in a profound way and not stopping them at a specific person, when the idea of ​​one of them stops at a certain limit, it It can be moved to a next stage by another person, so the group becomes a single block that contributes to solving the problem, and it is also useful in reminding group members that they have innovative ideas that can be presented, and it is recommended to divide individuals in brainstorming processes into groups ranging from five to seven people to obtain More effective results, and despite the importance of group brainstorming, it has many drawbacks that may make it restrictive of ideas, so proposing an unusual idea during the group brainstorming process may make it subject to criticism and wrong evaluation, and these groups usually lack their commitment to rules Brainstorm properly, and it is worth noting what is known as the concept of blocking, which may appear during group brainstorming processes, and this concept is represented by people’s interest in the ideas of some only, a And waiting for someone to turn to present his idea, which may forget it while waiting for the coming of his turn to speak.

Brainstorming-Tools

How to set up a brainstorming session

Group brainstorming

The rules and standards of a group brainstorming session should be known before starting it, which are those four rules set by Osborne and which were referred to previously, and can be summarized in generating the largest number of ideas during the creative thinking session, and to avoid exposing any of the ideas presented to criticism or ridicule, And encourage unusual ideas, then combine these ideas to develop and improve them, after that, some procedures can be followed to start a group brainstorming session that consists of a large or small group of people, as follows:

  • Designate one of the group members as the person charged with managing the brainstorming session.
  • Determine the problem that will be the focus of the brainstorming session, as it must be clear to all members of the group.
  • Setting general rules to be observed during the session, which include allowing the responsible person to fully manage the session, and not restricting any of the group members so that everyone is allowed to participate, in addition to not judging any of the ideas until they are fully compiled, and assuming the validity of any idea that is proposed In addition to recording all ideas that are proposed unless they are repeated, and a time must be specified at which the process of brainstorming and production of ideas ends.
  • Begin the brainstorming process with a focus on encouraging the group to come up with creative ideas that focus on thinking outside the box.
  • Selection of members, in order, according to the role assigned by the official; To bring out their ideas that they came up with through the process, and then jot down all of these ideas.
  • Avoid any criticism of any of the ideas presented. Start by evaluating the ideas written. This can be done by group voting on them.
  • Gathering similar ideas, to narrow down and narrow down the written ideas. Discussing all remaining ideas after they have been identified.

Individual brainstorming

It is also possible to prepare a group brainstorming session, it is also possible to prepare an individual brainstorming session to be carried out by one person, by writing what he thinks and wanders in his mind from proposed solutions to a specific problem, clear and specific, so that his ideas are not restricted, then write down the list of ideas that he came out with With the need to review and read them, which may generate new ideas as a result of this self-review, then determine and choose the best ideas to solve the problem.

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