Brain­storm for cre­ative ideas

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - EDUCATION GUIDE - By EllEn WhytE

THE idea of brain­storm­ing is credited to an Amer­i­can ad­ver­tis­ing ex­ec­u­tive called Alex F. Os­born who wrote a 1948 best­seller, Your Cre­ative Power, that out­lined a sys­tem for group brain­storm­ing.

He sug­gested that you get a group to­gether, and do the fol­low­ing:

> Out­line the prob­lem, for ex­am­ple, “We need to fig­ure out a study for our ad­ver­tis­ing course that looks at con­sumer be­hav­iour.” > Call for ideas. > Give ev­ery­one time to think. > Ev­ery­one presents an idea: peo­ple take turns so that ev­ery­one talks.

> Ev­ery sin­gle idea is recorded (so you need a group sec­re­tary)

> Ev­ery­one talks about the ideas pre­sented, and the sec­re­tary adds de­vel­op­ments or ad­di­tions.

To get things go­ing, Os­born set out th­ese prin­ci­ples:

> Go for as many ideas as you can.

> Don’t look for qual­ity in ideas; ac­cept ev­ery­thing. > En­joy weird ideas. > Com­bine ideas to form new ap­proaches. Os­born thought that the ideal group size was a dozen, and that the leader should start by mak­ing sure that no­body judges any­thing said.

Also, the wilder and wack­ier the ideas are, the bet­ter be­cause cre­ativ­ity of­ten arises from things that ap­pear out of field. So you need a strong group leader who can get things mov­ing and keep them mov­ing.

This should get you lots of good ideas. Then you rank ideas, per­haps ac­cord­ing to pop­u­lar­ity, or maybe ac­cord­ing to some other qual­ity that you think is im­por­tant, so you have a short-list.

Then you take the short­list, de­bate the mer­its of each and make your de­ci­sion.

You may choose to de­bate the mer­its and then take a pause for a day or two be­fore mak­ing a de­ci­sion, or have a se­lect group de­bate the mer­its – that’s up to you.

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