On my last post, I talked about creativity in order to generate innovation on companies. I explainted both terms –creativity and innovation- and how they are different. I invite you to read that post before you continue with this one. On this new article I will present a very traditional tool to stimulate creativity among our workers: brainstorming.
This tool was introduced by Alex Osborn in 1953, on his book Applied Imagination. Since then many improvements have been introduced and today I will present how to use the technique in our company in order to solve problems.
Before I start, it is important to take into account the next tips. It is important to have a good conference room where people feel comfortable to participate. Also it is very important to have audiovisual aids such as presentations and a board. It is helpful to have a limited number of people, because if there are many individuals the session is going to be disorganized. A final recommendation is to invite people with different points of view and ways of solving problems in order to have different perspectives on the group.
Once in the session, you must start with two actions. The first is explaining the rules in order to participate which include among others, welcoming every type of idea and not attacking others ideas. The second is presenting the details of problem you want to resolve.
At first it is recommended that every participant writes on a paper his opinions and afterwards they are shared with the group. Once this has been done, the idea is to discuss them in a respectful way searching for new ideas. It is very important to have a moderator that guides the discussion so it advances and the conversation is not diverted. If this moderator has ideas, he can participate but he must not forget that his principal role is to guide the conversation. Try to discuss as many ideas as possible, even if at the end some of these are discarded. Have in mind that a brainstorm can not become in a thunderstorm, without an order and a defined end.
Soon I will share a new post with other tools to promote creativity among our workers.
Image taken from Flickr.com