The word brainstorming has gotten a bad rap from some who write on the www. The problem they seem to have is that their experiences with the subject have been the antithesis of purposeful brainstorming.
So I propose to use ‘idea generation’ instead of brainstorming. That is the purpose of most brainstorming sessions any way.
A good idea generation session has a clear goal but also leaves lots of room for playing around with ideas and exploring several different avenues that turn up.
A good idea generation session also will produce some ideas and directions that seem immediately applicable while others should be put in the parking lot to be reintroduced and explored at a next meeting.
As you all know, my last book was Power Brainstorming. I wrote it because brainstorming has been maligned as a result of being done incorrectly. Poor results from poor methods made many people blame the brainstorming process itself. As I often tell my friends and family complying about a product or process, more often than not it is “user error” not the product itself. Power Brainstorming, the book, and the trademarked method, is meant to help you avoid user error and be very successful when you need to brainstorm.
Now I am about to bring out my next book. This one focuses on the more general topics of decision making, critical and creative thinking. Business, Brains, and BS is a business mystery that intrigues and piques your interest and curiosity while you observe decision making in a growing business. It’s not just a fun book too read, it’s easy to swallow lessons in thinking better and clearer.
I’d love to receive comments as I am starting up this blog. What techniques do you use to brainstrom? How often do you do brainstorming?
Powerful questions are ones that dig deeper into a subject and bring up interesting ideas and options. Avoid asking questions that you know the answer as if you are testing someone to see if they know the answer you have in your head. There is no new information, ideas or combinations when you are just testing them. Powerful questions are open ended so that the person answering is free to take the subject in a new direction.
The call for brainstorming happens thousands of times a day, all over the world, and especially in business environments. Why? Because to come up with good solutions, better ideas, more effective methods and innovation you want to start with options. First, before making a decision, you need to know about what choices you have and then to compare them. Sometimes this process, of necessity, takes place in a few seconds. Sometimes it requires collection of data or opinions that take a long time. In any case, more options to compare and you will come up with a better thought out solution, and a better explanation or defense of that solution if asked.