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(:nl:)'''Ten Basic Guidelines for Successful Brainstorming'''

# Have participants generate ideas BEFORE the brainstorming session

# No idea is stupid

# Watch the clock - time pressure can be beneficial

# Record your progress and ideas

# Strive for quantity not quality

# Use both sides of your brain - unusual ideas are welcome

# Encourage the right mindset and have fun

# Let no good idea go unheard

# Combine and improve ideas

# Review ideas AFTER the brainstorm, then establish priorities and a plan

---- '''Brainstorming Techniques'''

* '''Six Ideas in Six Minutes'''

->Take a blank sheet of paper and draw lines to divide it into six sections. Start a timer, and in the next six minutes each person independently draws a different idea or possible solution in each section on the page. Do not worry about minor details, scale / proportion, or specific content - focus on capturing the high-level idea, then move on. Try not to filter your ideas and discount or dismiss ideas, because time goes quickly - draw any ideas you may have. Do not stop if you reach six ideas before time runs out - turn the paper over and keep drawing and sketching until time runs out.

->Look at your ideas: the first few are probably common or similar to solutions and ideas that already exist, and the last few are more likely to be "crazy" and "out there" (due to time constraints and pushing the boundaries.) However, the ideas in the middle often contain the spark of something new, different, and possibly better.

->Form groups of 3-4 people and review your ideas together. Set aside ideas that everyone has, because they are probably common and already exist elsewhere. Set aside ideas that only one person has, because these may be too "out there", but come back and look at these again at the end of this step to see if there are any sparks worth saving and using. Focus on the ideas with shared characteristics that were generated by at least two people in the group - use these "shared sparks" from ideas and combine them into a new, single idea or solution.

->Share the small group ideas with the larger group. Look for similarities and differences - focus on the ideas that sit between things everyone generated and things generated by only one group. Consolidate this "best of the best" into an idea or solution that borrows from ALL of the ideas that were generated.

* '''Concept Fan'''

->A useful technique for widening the search for solutions when you have rejected all obvious approaches. It gives you a clear framework within which you can take one step back to get a broader view of a problem.

->To start a concept fan, write the problem in the middle of a piece of paper. Write possible solutions to this problem on lines radiating from this circle. If no idea is good enough, redefine the problem more broadly. Write this broader definition in a circle to the left of the first one. Draw an arrow from the initial problem definition to the new one to show the linkage between the problems. Then radiate possible solutions from this broader definition.

->Concept Fans

* '''Provocation'''

->We begin by making deliberately stupid statements (Provocations), in which something we take for granted about the situation is not true. Statements need to be stupid to shock our minds out of existing ways of thinking. Once we have made a provocative statement, we then suspend judgment and use that statement to generate ideas. Provocations give us original starting points for creative thinking.

* '''DO IT'''

->DO IT is an acronym that stands for:

->D - Define problem
O - Open mind and apply creative techniques
I - Identify best solution
T Transform

* '''Lotus Blossom'''

->Most people process the same information over and over until proven wrong, without searching for alternatives, even when there is no penalty for asking questions that give them a negative answer. Look for a multiplicity of ways to approach a subject. Be willing to entertain different perspectives and alternative approaches to broaden your thinking and open you up to new information and new possibilities.

->Diagrammatically organize your thinking around significant themes. Start with a central subject and expand into themes and subthemes, each with separate entry points. Pursue ever-widening circles until the subject or opportunity is comprehensively explored. The cluster of themes and surrounding ideas and applications, which are developed in one way or another, provide several different alternative possibilities.

->Lotus Blossom
Lotus Blossom
Lotus Blossom

* '''Vertical Thinking'''

->Vertical solutions are based on existing ideas or knowledge -- solutions that others have already had some success with. Digging deeper into known, familiar territory carries little risk, but is unlikely to result in a breakthrough idea.

* '''Horizontal Thinking'''

->Generating a variety of ideas by thinking in totally new directions. Thinking "sideways", "lateral thinking", and "thinking outside the box." (:nl:)

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