Brainstorming is probably the most used creative thinking technique. For over 60 years, brainstorming has been a much utilised part of business culture. We all know it to be basically a brain jam in which the participants spit out ideas as they come to them in an environment of no judgement. But there are some useful refinements we can absorb in order to have new ways of brainstorming.
The Question Is The Answer Before you brainstorm for new answers to old questions, brainstorm for new questions for the old answers. When meeting a creative challenge or crisis, the question you ask determines the answer you get. Ask a different question and you get a different answer. So exhaust the ways you can ask the question or set-up the creative challenge BEFORE you try to get your answer or creative breakthrough. How many different ways can you ask the question? How many different perspectives can you take on the challenge before you? Don't even look for an answer until you've fully and completely defined the problem.
Chunking Down or Systematic Focussed Brainstorming A problem or creative challenge is made up of many parts, but we typically brainstorm about it from the big picture. Try chunking it down instead and brainstorming on smaller more focussed areas of the challenge. This in-depth brainstorming where you systematically cover every part of a problem will reveal deeper answers and give you a more powerful understanding of what you are dealing with. Remember the old joke riddle: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time! With this focussed brainstorming, you breakdown the structure of your challenge and focus on each component one by one until you've covered everything. This is like mining for the gold and making sure that every particle of rock is examined.
Software for the Brain The formalised brainstorming session is a bit like going to church on Sundays, the participants gear up for being good (i.e. creative) on the day and then go back to normal for the rest of the week. This is such a waste of perfectly good brainpower! Brains are built to be creative everyday and you are wasting that creativity if it's not getting called upon regularly. Fortunately we now have brainstorming software programs that you can tap into on a daily basis to mine your mind for gold. Make sure you and your workforce has access to this new technology and is encouraged to use it in the pursuit of never-ending improvement, the next big project, the next breakthrough for your business. And there's no excuse for you solo artists out there either! Check out the excellent brainstorming software and use it -- it's like having your own think group right there on your PC. Your brain responds to being challenged. The more you search for creative ideas the more you will find. Using software unleashes your brain's creative thinking as it externalises and objectifies your creative sparkle!