Are you looking for a fast, effective way to promote creative thinking and problem solving skills in your company?
There are wonderful creative thinking and brainstorming techniques you can use to get everyone thinking outside the box in your organization. Brainstorming allows you to draw out and harness the best ideas from everyone to make the company better.
The Importance of Creative Thinking
The keys to creative thinking and brainstorming techniques are simple.
First, the problem or question should be stated clearly and simply so that it is understood by each participant.
Take a little time to discuss the problem at hand, and then write it on a flip chart. This will dramatically increase your problem solving skills and the quality of answers generated by the brainstorming session.
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The aim of the brainstorming session should be to generate the most ideas possible within a specific period of time while thinking outside the box.
An effective session will last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes, with 30 minutes being ideal.
1) Determine Your Optimal Group Size
The best number of participants for a brainstorming session is between four to seven people.
Any less than four, and you run the risk of not having enough stimulation. Any more than seven, and you may find that there is insufficient opportunity for everyone to contribute.
2) Appoint a Group Leader
Each brainstorming session requires a group leader. The role of the leader is to keep the ideas as free-flowing as possible.
The group leader is a stimulator of ideas, encouraging each person to speak up with anything he or she has to contribute.
3) Designate a Recorder
There should also be a recorder at each session. This person will write down every idea as it is generated so that the list can be typed up and circulated at a later time.
4) Focus on the Quantity of Ideas
The most important rule of brainstorming is to avoid evaluating the ideas during the process. The focus is on quantity, not quality.
Evaluation and discussion of the ideas will take place at a separate session, away from the original brainstorming.
5) Keep it Positive
The keys to creative thinking and successful brainstorming techniques are positive emotions, laughter, ridiculous ideas and absolutely no criticism of any kind.
The group leader needs to ensure that no one says anything that throws water on the ideas of anyone else and to encourage thinking outside the box.
6) Agree on the Topic at Hand
When I conduct brainstorming sessions, I find that the best way to get going is to first agree on the question or problem, and second, to go around the table one by one. Pretty soon, everyone will start to contribute and the session is off and running.
7) Assemble a Different Group to Evaluate
When it comes to evaluating the ideas in a later session, it can be helpful to bring together an entirely different group of people. This group will consider the ideas without the ego involvement and emotional attachment of the original group. As a result, they will be able to assess the ideas far more objectively.
Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills Through Group Brainstorming
The amazing thing about brainstorming is that virtually any group can come up with an incredible number of ideas when stimulated by this method.
You can never tell which ideas are going to provide the breakthrough solution that you need, so aim for quantity. The more ideas you generate, the greater the likelihood that you will have exactly the idea that you need at exactly the right time.
By practicing mindstorming and brainstorming techniques on a regular basis, you can unleash a torrent of ideas that will enable you to accomplish your goals faster than you ever believed possible by thinking outside the box.
Today, in the information age, ideas are the most valuable tools of production. And since your ability to generate innovative, effective, usable ideas is virtually unlimited, your future is unlimited as well.
How to Put These Brainstorming Techniques into Action
Now, here are three things you can do immediately to put these ideas into action and immediately improve your problem solving skills:
- First, don’t delay. Bring together three or more people immediately and conduct a brainstorming session. Put the question or problem on a whiteboard or flip chart and go for it!
Second, make it a game to see how many ideas the group can generate within a specific time period. Focus on quantity, not quality.Third, analyze the ideas later and take action on the good ones. The more ideas that are implemented, the more ideas people will come up with.
I hope you enjoyed this post on enhancing your problem solving skills through creative thinking and brainstorming techniques.