Friday, September 24, 2010

Creative Brainstorming

One of the most effective methods of creative thinking is brainstorming. This technique was developed in 1948 by Alex Osborne, who defined four rules:
1)      Everything can be said, since nothing will be evaluated;
2)      The more ideas expressed, the better, as in the old Chinese proverb: “to catch many fish you should cast many lines’;
3)      No idea is too exotic, too bizarre or too trivial;
4)      Any combinations, deviations and improvements on the ideas presented are desirable.
 The decisive thing with this technique is not to find exactly the right answer there can be many answers to problems but to unleash new ideas that have previously not seen considered. Every idea put on the table acts as an incentive for other group members to find a new idea themselves. The most important and most difficult rule for such as communal gathering of ideas is : no criticism! This would immediately stifle the creativity and collective thinking of the people involved in the brains storming. Also, the ideas presented need not be explained or even defended. They must only be taken down spontaneously and in rapid sequence; then, at a later stage, they can be evaluated by the entire team to find out if they are of use or not.
                 Here is an example: while searching for a zip replacement for space suits, NASA designers employed a particularly open technique of idea association. One participant would pick a word or term at random from the dictionary for example, rain forest. During the brainstorming session that followed, he had the image of walking through a rain forest with thorns getting stuck on his clothes. For the astronauts, the result was a type of fasteners in which thousands of thorn like fibers hooks into one another. The material was named Velcro, and today it is a household name.
                 When conversing with your inner adviser, you can think freely how you wish to proceed. This may appear strange to you at first, but if you try, you will soon get used to it.

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