Brainstorming was first introduced by Alex F. Osborne around 1939. Disheartened from his workers’ inabilities to create innovative ideas, Osborne started developing new ways of thinking for problem solving within his organization. They were based on a teamwork approach rather than working as an independent individual. He started with organizing group thinking discussions and found that this method led to a certain breakthrough in quantity and quality of new thoughts and ideas. Later Osborne compiled these group discussions into the “brainstorm” sessions and recorded these techniques that disclosed later.
For decades people are using brainstorming to generate new ideas and thoughts that result in solutions to numerous problems. However, it requires using brainstorming in the correct way to get effective results. Brainstorming associates a relaxed, informal process to find solution to any problem with lateral thinking. It motivates employees to come up with creative ideas and thoughts that can, at first, look crazy. Some of these thoughts can be crafted into real-life practical solutions to problems, whereas others may spark even more thoughts. The importance of brainstorming is that it prevents individuals from getting stuck with a problem as the team approach get them out of their casual way of thinking.
During the process of brainstorming, employees must avoid criticism or rewarding ideas. They should not try to breakdown to false assumptions during this phase as it results in limitations. Analysis and judgement during this step reduce idea generation and limit the creativity. Write the ideas at the end of process and following it is the time to explore further solutions by using conventional approaches.
4 Rules of Brainstorming
The method and importance of brainstorming has evolved over many years. However, Osborne’s 4 basic rules are a complete set of instructions for an effective brainstorming session. These rules are as follows:
- Quantity over quality: The approach behind this rule is the quantity will eventually breed the quality as ideas are clarified, combined, and developed further.
- Withhold criticism: Present team members in brainstorming sessions must leave freehand to share any or all ideas that come up in their minds. Keep records of feedback until after the collection of ideas phase so that interruption doesn’t happen.
- Accept crazy ideas and thoughts: Motivate the team participants to think beyond the limitations and introduce pie in the sky ideas which opens the doors of innovative and new approaches that will be source to successful outcome.
- Integrate, refine, and enhance ideas: Build-upon ideas and set interrelations between various thoughts that will further lead the process of solving problems.
Brainstorming should be a process or technique that helps the team to work and innovate collaboratively.
Three Major Benefits of Brainstorming
- Brainstorming encourages critical thinking.
- Brainstorming gets people out of their normal way of thinking.
- Brainstorming helps to create an effective team.
Importance of Brainstorming
If you ever experienced a brainstorming process, you are likely familiar with that they can be very effective in generating new ideas and sorting out solutions to problems. This is because numerous advantages of brainstorming that support team work.
The importance of brainstorming during development include:
- Brainstorming makes people think more freely, without fear of judgment.
- Brainstorming motivates open and ongoing collaboration that solves problems along with creating innovative ideas and solutions.
- With help of brainstorming, teams generate a larger number of ideas in short time. They can then be refined and merged to generate the ideal solution.
- Brainstorming helps the team members to reach conclusion through consensus.
- Brainstorming makes team members feel comfortable with bouncing ideas off each other, even outside of the structured discussion.
- Brainstorming provides different perspectives and create ways for out of box thinking.
- Brainstorming is a great technique for creating a team. No single person has ownership over the final result, enabling a perfect team effort.
In summary, the core importance of brainstorming is towards the ability to unlock innovation by collaboration. It’s an ideal technique to apply for coming together as a team and may help to create amazing new ideas and bring developments to a new level.