How to Use Brain Storming to Your Advantage
In business, critical thinking is essential to initiating change. When you start to question the accepted ways of doing things, then you are able to find innovative solutions to company problems. One of the best ways to get the critical thinking process started is with brain storming. This is the process of throwing out solutions and suggestions without thinking about the logical or practical aspects of your suggestion. It can be extremely liberating and effective.
Brain storming is something that companies become good at after they have developed a good process. There is more to brain storming than just sitting in an office and shouting out ideas. When you have a good process in place, then the ideas can flow more freely and you can actually control the direction that your brain storming takes. There are a lot of advantages to using a good brain storming process that you should keep in mind as you develop new solutions for your business problems.
Go in Stages
Good brain storming is done in stages. The first stage is to come up with a list of general ideas that are geared towards coming up with a solution. The next stage is to choose the five best ideas and then start developing suggestions off of those five ideas. You continue to choose the top five ideas until you start getting specific suggestions that will address your problem. You should not limit the suggestions that people can make because that would defeat the purpose of brain storming. But when you give topics to brain storm with, then you are moving your ideas in a direction that will allow you to find a solution you have been looking for.
Create a Diverse Group
If you want to get the best possible critical thinking results from your brain storming sessions, then you need to create a diverse group of people to do your brain storming for you. Your diverse staff is a great resource when it comes to developing good solutions to company issues. You should use that diverse staff to create useful brain storming sessions. The group should consist of employees that range from executives to mail room staff. The wide range of professional and personal experiences offered by a group like this will help you to get the best possible suggestions.
Do Not Throw Anything Out
A brain storming session can be frantic and intense. When it is over, you have several long lists of ideas that were rejected for that particular session, but could be useful in the future. When your session is over, you need to keep all of the information that the group generated. One of the reasons for this is so that you can go back and see where a particular idea came from to help you better understand it. The ideas you gave in the session may have made sense at that time, but a few days later your meaning could be cloudy. By keeping the genesis of those ideas, you can remind yourself of what you were thinking and how the idea applies to the solution.
The other reason that you want to keep the lists of ideas is for future brainstorming sessions. Just because an ideas was not used does not mean that it wasn’t a good idea. Keep your old ideas around and bring them back up in future brain storming sessions to help you get better ideas.