Brain Storm First Clean Later

A technique I learned from a college communications class. If you are trying to generate ideas, then one should refrain from trying to criticize or organize the ideas (publicly) until the flow of new ideas slows to a dribble. That way one can focus on the collection process and creativity without worrying about weathering criticism or fussing about organizing strategies. Even silly ideas sometimes trigger related good ideas.

Brainstorming has been treated as a formal methodology, in which case the first phase is very explicit about no criticism allowed; it should come in a later phase. This has been compared with treating a seedling very gently but then culling out the weak plants once they're old enough to be evaluated for their mature potential.

One should also consider, however "Garbage In, Garbage Out." In practice, "brain storming" tends to be a group of uninformed people speculating on issues. Instead of sitting in a room make wild guesses, go out and see the real thing; talk to people involved with the real thing; see what is really going on.

Nope. I learned this technique in high school. (I think this was a in basic science or some pre-engineering class.) The method involves collecting stupidly wild-ass suggestions without filtering anything, then using the spew to synthesize solutions. The tenant of allowing any old mumbo-jumbo to be thrown into the pot was a bedrock to this method. What we discovered was that a lot of good ideas came from the synthesis of what appeared to be just plain stupid inputs combined and reworked into real, workable solutions.

The point of the exercise was to show that some solutions could not be derived from conventional, linear thinking. Some problems require dumbasses to contribute to the overall solution, otherwise you get nowhere.
See: BrainStorm, PostponeJudgment, FowlerWritingMethod, SpikeSolution, OptimizeLater

CategoryProcess

EditText of this page (last edited May 23, 2011) or FindPage with title or text search