What Is Brainstorming?
First of all, let's discuss the definition of brainstorming.
Simply put, brainstorming is a method for generating creative problem solving by encouraging group members to cast ideas while holding back criticism or judgment. Brainstorming, in many forms, has become a standard tool for ideation (the development of new ideas). Perhaps this is because of its flexibility:
While most businesses tend to actually use the term "brainstorm", the process is used in a variety of ranges, from universities to non-profits to the performing arts venues.
Brainstorming can be achieved by a large group, small group, or even an individual. There are restrictions on the types of problems or questions that can be solved through brainstorming.
The term brainstorming turned out to have been developed by Alex Osborn in 1941. As an advertising executive, Osborn understood the importance of creativity for success: in his 1952 book The Power of Your Creativity: How to Use Imagination, he wrote: "Not only in business but in every line, leadership quality depends on creative power ".
Osborn believes that creativity is often put out in the business world because (1) too few ideas are made by too few people and (2) people who are involved in the creative process criticize and judge innovative ideas too quickly.
He also believes that everyone has the potential for creativity, and learns creative skills. Thus, Osborn's four rules about brainstorming are designed to overcome limitations and increase employee creativity. They are:
There should be no criticism of ideas
- Find a large number of ideas
- Build on each other idea
- Encourage wild and excessive ideas
What is Ideation?
The ideation stage in design thinking is the stage when team members come up with creative ideas that might be a solution to existing problems. The initial process is to formulate HMW Question - the "How Might We" question - this question opens up the initial possibilities for triggering more creative ideas. For simplicity, we can translate "How might we" freely with "Approximately how we can ..." This is a bridge question between the Define stage and the Develop stage. Between Define and Ideation stages.
For example, we have a problem statement (remember the previous POV discussion) as follows:
Young girls need nutritious food to grow healthy
HMW questions that might appear are:
How do we make attractive healthy food for young girls?
How do you inspire young girls to consider eating healthy food?
How do we make healthy food more affordable for young girls?
After the HMW Question is formulated, then we do an ideation session. The process of carrying out an ideation session itself has many ways.
Hopefully the above explanation is able to provide insight into the differences between the two stages above.
Brainstorming: Techniques to Produce Radical and Useful Ideas
Brainstorming is a very useful technique for developing creative solutions to a problem. This technique is quite popular and is often used in work in the office, also in other daily activities.
Brainstorming is very useful when you need to get out of something that is outdated or an established thinking pattern, so you can develop new ways of looking at things. This can be done when you need to develop new opportunities, when you want to improve the services you offer, or when the existing approach no longer provides the results you want.
Brainstorming is a process of lateral thinking, inviting everyone to come up with ideas and thoughts that seem crazy and unreasonable at first. However, then this "crazy" idea must be able to be changed or corrected into useful ideas.
During the brainstorming session, no party should criticize the other party's ideas. This was very sacred because this session was aimed at opening up all possibilities and breaking the wrong assumption about the problem limitation. If the idea starts to "dry out", you can provoke it with "random words".
The ideas that appear are only evaluated at the end of the session. You can then look for further problem solving using a conventional approach.
When doing brainstorming alone, you tend to generate a lot of ideas compared to brainstorming groups. You do not need to worry about the ego or the opinions of others, so you can be more free to create and fantasize. When brainstorming yourself, your mind map can help organize and develop ideas.
Group brainstorming can be very effective because it uses the experience and creativity of all group members. When one member reaches the limit of his ideas, the creativity and experience of the other members can continue and bring it to the next stage. Brainstorming groups tend to be useful for exploring ideas in depth rather than individual brainstorming.
Brainstorming in groups can be risky for each individual. A valuable but strange idea might sound "stupid" at first. Therefore, you need a more intensive initial session so that people who are difficult to accept "out of the box" ideas do not damage the brainstorming session and leave a shameful impression on other group members at the end of the session.
To run a brainstorming group session effectively, do the following:
Clearly define the problem you want to solve, you can also add some criteria that must be met;
Direct each discussion and opinion centered on the problem to be dissected;
Make sure no party criticizes or evaluates the ideas of others during the session. Criticism can prevent a person from conveying ideas and suggestions that hinder creativity and paralyze good brainstorming sessions;
Encourage enthusiasm by inviting everyone to contribute and develop ideas, including the most silent members in the group;
Create a pleasant atmosphere in the brainstorming session. Encourage each member to come up with as many ideas and suggestions as possible. Starting from ideas and suggestions that are practical or not, even the most "wild" ideas;
Also make sure there is no set of ideas that are followed too long. This can limit ideas and creativity;
Encourage members to develop other members' ideas, or use other ideas to create new ideas;
Appoint one person to record the ideas that came out during the session — a good way is to use a flip chart. This can be learned and evaluated after the brainstorming session ends.
If possible, participants who attend varied and come from various disciplines. This will bring a variety of experiences and help make this session more colorful and creative.
In conclusion, brainstorming is a great way to generate radical ideas and "out of the box" solutions. During the process there should be no criticism of the ideas raised by each member. This will make group sessions brainstorm fun and create a stronger spirit of togetherness within the team.
Individual brainstorming is a good session to generate many ideas, but tends to be less effective to develop because it is only fixed by one head. Brainstorming groups tend to discuss fewer ideas, but each idea discussed is very easy to develop because many heads are involved in thinking about it. Brainstorming groups require formal rules and mutual agreement at the beginning of the session for smooth discussion and optimal results.