The main feature of brain storming is that people generate as many radical ideas as possible. These ideas are not evaluated or criticized during the brain storming session. The ideas are just recorded. Any idea is welcomed however far fetched or impractical.
Here are some ideas to help you run a group brain storming.
- Choose a leader who should try to ensure that the rules are obeyed.
- Choose someone to record the ideas. It is best if these are visible to the whole group, so a flip chart is good.
- Make the objective clear from the outset. The leader should try to keep the group focused.
- Encourage everyone to contribute ideas.
- Do not critisize or evaluate ideas during the session. This can be threatening and will prevent people from being creative.
- Do not follow one train of thought for too long. If the session gets into a rut, new ideas can be seeded by throwing in a random word.
- Have fun. Encourage people to give wildly fanciful ideas as well as solidly practical ones.
When the brainstorming session is over the ideas can be sorted and evaluated. One way of organising them is to use a mind map.