This is the "heart" of brainstorming. Here are tips for best results.
The second step is to generate ideas… lots of them. Start by giving everyone 15 minutes of silent thinking time. You may not have done this before, but it lets everyone follow their own unique course of thinking before being influenced by others.
Then review Osborn’s ground rules… Don’t criticize ideas… wild ideas are welcome… the more, the better… and build on each other’s ideas. The 1st rule is hard for some to follow… so watch for and discourage any violations. You don’t want a “Grim Idea Reaper” shutting down the free flow of ideas.
Then go around the room, asking for one idea per person… and record them in Blueprinter software. This also may be new for you: In many brainstorming sessions, people just shout out their ideas as they occur to them. But since you had the silent idea generation first, each person probably has a list ready. Going around the room getting one idea at a time has these benefits:
- It doesn’t allow one person to dominate the discussion.
- It gives incentive for everyone to think of more ideas… so they’re not the first to “run out.”
Encourage people to springboard off others’ ideas, adding more ideas to their own list. Keep going around the room until no one can think of any more ideas. Record their ideas on a Brainstorm Sheet in Excel-based Blueprinter 4.0 (accessible by clicking the Brainstorm Sheet link in Step 6.
For more on this topic, see e-Learning Module 29: Technical Brainstorming at www.blueprintintcenter.com > e-Learning.
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