Tap Directly Into Your Creative Mind... And Easily Access YOUR Million-Dollar Ideas Ideas are the lifeblood of success... and the best ideas originate with brainstorming. Brainstorming can help you successfully fix any problem, build any business, generate any plan, or develop any story. But the problem is that most people have no clue how to effectively brainstorm - either by themselves or with groups. You can waste a lot of time coming up with old, boring ideas that won't work... and the whole time you actually believe that you are brainstorming.
There are several ways to conduct brainstorming sessions. This section describes three of them. First, there is group interactive brainstorming. This approach can be loud and expressive. When group members think out loud, that stimulates ideas that build on each other, resulting in a list of many ideas. Ideas can be posted on a large flipchart as individuals call them out. It is important for the recorder to capture each individual's idea by writing his or her exact words on the flipchart and for others to refrain from commenting on or evaluating the ideas offered. A second technique is silent brainstorming. Each person on the team first thinks about ideas during a silent period and then writes each idea on a Post-it Note and hands the batch of completed notes to the recorder, who reads each idea out loud before posting it on a flipchart. One form of this written, silent brainstorming is called the nominal group technique. In this method the team does not engage in a highly...
Brainstorming sessions, sometimes with staff and consumers combined, to develop creative strategies for achieving PsyR goals and objectives are a far cry from the systematic precision required for scientific research. Creating new programs and strategies can be an art and some of the creations are ingenious for example, using consumers as job coaches to help other consumers learn and keep regular jobs in the community. Or, helping consumers learn about their illnesses by participating in discussion groups where they read and discuss research literature from PsyR journals, such as the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal and the American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation.
When I teach abnormal psychology, I often start out by asking my students to brainstorm various symptoms and signs of the particular disorder we are discussing for that lesson. This has gone a lot less smoothly than I initially thought. Students come up with a few key components, but not many or even most signs or symptoms. They typically are unable to paint me a picture of what a particular disorder actually looked like in the real world. Of course, I realize that my job as their professor is to teach them how to do this. A few guiding questions are usually helpful such as, What exactly does PTSD look like or How would someone with PTSD behave, think, or feel differently than someone without PTSD After we derive a fairly comprehensive list of indicators, I put a crucial and core question of psychology right back to them
Once you have gathered all the information and data from assessing your microsystem and have taken into consideration the additional perspectives mentioned previously, your team can generate an inclusive list of possibilities by conducting a brainstorming session. It can then select a theme from the brainstorming results by following a multi-voting process (see Chapter Twenty for details on both these techniques). Brainstorming can engage all members of your team in discussing and buying into the improvement focus. Be sure to keep the list of brainstormed ideas for future reference and consideration.
SWOT is the business analysis technique used most commonly by companies and other organisations. SWOT stand for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It is usually set out in quadrants on a single sheet of paper as illustrated in Figure C4. The contents of the SWOT analysis are usually generated by a brainstorming technique (see Section C, 1.8.3).
Brainstorming and Multi-Voting Define the methods and describe the steps in the process of brainstorming and multi-voting. Describe the differences between interactive brainstorming, silent brainstorming, and nominal group techniques. Apply brainstorming and multi-voting to a topic in order to select a specific change idea to test. Develop a process to engage all staff in the review and consideration of the results of the brainstorming and multi-voting session. For lead improvement team members to work well together it is extremely helpful if they have good methods for surfacing creative ideas for improvement the more ideas the better and if they have a method for selecting the best idea(s) to work on next. Therefore a good time to use brainstorming (to generate ideas) and multi-voting (to select an idea to test) is when the team must decide on what the first or the next test of change will be. This chapter describes both methods (see Figure 20.1). FIGURE 20.1. IMPROVEMENT RAMP...
The discussion in this section will concentrate on the free ranging, non analytical techniques for the generation of new ideas that seem to have found the widest and successful application, namely lateral thinking, brainstorming, six thinking hats, morphological analysis, synectics, mind mapping, rule reversal and TRIZ as well as considering the distinctive, alternative approaches of Robert Fritz.
This is not an easy method to facilitate without prior training. The facilitator of the sessions should not take any direct part in the development of analogies. The Manager's task is to stimulate the team by asking provocative questions in a similar way to brainstorming. The objective is to keep the team on the right track and prepare them to move on to another one, if that being followed seems to be leading to a dead end.
The actual steps of problem solving that patients are taught to carry out systematically are as follows. First, it is necessary to define the dilemma as a problem to be solved. Next, a goal must be selected which reflects the ultimate outcome a patient desires. The patient then generates a list of many different possible solutions, without evaluating their potential merit (a kind of brainstorming). Now the patient evaluates the pros and cons of each op
Each person should be asked to vote for about one-third of the total number of ideas on the list. For example, if the list generated by the brainstorming session contains fifteen ideas, then each person gets five votes to cast for the most promising ideas based on the selection criteria. Team members review the full list of ideas and quietly write their top five choices on a piece of paper.
It is important to work quickly and to use key words, and not phrases and draw the images in colour to highlight the new nodes. Using this methodology the mind forms associations almost instantaneously. Mind maps have great creative potential when used as part of a brainstorming session.
Multi-voting is a method that engages all members of the team in agreeing on the best ideas to focus the improvement work on. It involves voting to reduce the idea list generated during a brainstorming session to the top choices. This is accomplished through a series of votes, each round of voting reducing the list and finally resulting in a consensus on a few top ideas to focus on next. The word consensus comes from a Latin verb meaning to share thoughts and feelings. Consensus does not mean that everyone is in total agreement but rather that everyone is reasonably comfortable with the decision from the team. The process of brainstorming and multi-voting provides an opportunity for all to be heard and for issues and concerns to be explored and discussed to the satisfaction of the team.
Brainstorming Brainstorming, devised originally by Alex Osborn, is the most regularly used and valued of all the methods. It is a technique that is used to generate a large number of ideas on a selected topic, and is carried out informally and lacking any real discipline, in the complete absence of any critical process or evaluation of the ideas generated. Brainstorming is therefore not suitable for use on a topic where one correct answer, or one that is immediately applicable, is being sought. It is used when a break out from a current area is required or when a start is being made in a new one of a non specialised nature. It is a group activity, optimally between five to ten people. At least two-thirds of the people invited to the brainstorming session should have ideally a variety of experience obtained in different fields. Preferably an experienced, neutral facilitator should run the session, whose job is to record the ideas on a flip chart, electronic white board or other...