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Brainstorming, a problem-solving technique

Developing creativity means overcoming conformism and monotony within the company and, for this, brainstorming is an effective technique to solve conflicts in organizations. Getting out of established patterns of thinking is particularly useful when you have a business and want to go further in innovation. And for this, creativity is highly demanded, both to satisfy the client and the members of the company. Without creativity, a company will always be in a stagnant condition and unable to adapt to the changes that occur, both in the internal and external environment.

One of the most recurrent techniques to generate creativity in a group of people is called brainstorming. This tool, created by the American Alex Osborne in the 1940s, continues in force and is common in many companies, which solve problems in a group way, where everyone listens and is heard. At that time, Osborne discovered that organizations found better solutions when multiple people participated with different opinions. And since those years, many companies have adopted this technique when undertaking.

Today, brainstorming is used in various fields and has been the basis for great business ideas. Ideas that are often apparently crazy, but sometimes they are not so much. A company with a good creative department helps to deal with problem solving in a much more satisfactory way. In addition, the whole team is involved, which favors a much more relaxed work environment and the acceptance of the team members around to the determined solution, since everyone has been involved in solving the problem.

When the need arises in a company to unleash the creativity of teams to generate a large number of ideas, the creative department gets involved to provide opportunities for improvement, pose and solve existing problems, analyze the causes and propose solutions. Some experts agree that a relaxed atmosphere is conducive to carrying out this brainstorming. Groups of between 8 and 12 people would also be much more effective when submitting proposals. Not too little and not too much. 8 to 12 people is the ideal number for a team specially designed to formulate new strategies for the advancement of the company.

Regarding the procedure, after raising the matter, the participants freely contribute their ideas without anyone evaluating or criticizing them. All ideas are recorded and, according to the rules of the game, it is possible to use other people's ideas as inspiration for your own. After the creation stage, all the contributions are analyzed and the most viable ideas are selected to draw up an action plan. In this way all possible ideas can be accommodated and selected. This approach opens up opportunities for ideas that have been buried, which might be the best solutions to the problems at hand.

Once the approaches are chosen, some teams rate each initiative mentioned from 0 to 5 points in order to make a unanimous selection and thus, the best evaluated idea will be the one chosen to solve the problem. Suspending the judgment on the ideas that are said and writing them down all, encourages those present to say things that, otherwise, they would have repressed. In brainstorming, quality is obtained through quantity, that is why it is important that participants propose as many ideas as possible because with subsequent analysis, probably some of the ideas that seemed unfeasible, then not so much. With the collaboration of others, an idea can become the tip of a skein towards a valuable and applicable innovation.

However, there are different judgments regarding the application of brainstorming. In fact, group dynamics are the enemy of companies trying to develop new products. Not everyone is good at brainstorming. However, being a good business person is not just about generating ideas. The ability to look for new ideas is a plus for any businessman who focuses on developing the company in a more positive direction.

In addition to the quality of the idea, some researchers have tried to measure one of the predispositions of group dynamics that, in their opinion, creates barriers to innovation: the accumulation of ideas or the tendency to suggest ideas similar to others already proposed, embracing them unanimously. According to them, ideas built around other ideas would not be statistically better than any random suggestion.

Accumulation is a social norm that shows that the person has listened. If a group is working together on a certain idea that is already on the table, it is good to be careful when arriving with an agenda of its own. Because this attitude could be interpreted as selfishness, and not as teamwork. Therefore, the group members are expected to support the idea that is already under discussion. All differences may be tolerated but when an idea or a solution has been mutually agreed upon then all group members must support it, regardless of whether they agree or not. This is the essence of idea execution in a work team.
Digitized ideas

If you want to apply this old technique in your company, there are different programs for direct download to the computer, with which you can sort all the ideas, objectives and plans that arise after the brainstorming.

With the programs, ideas can be recorded, edited and organized as many times as required in a tree-like structure, with support for hyperlinks that can then be easily and conveniently explored. In this way, it is much easier to carry out the first outlines of a professional project, research, class work, among others, gathering and ordering all the thoughts contributed in a document.

Furthermore, this document can be shared with other people who work on the same project and need to know other plans, either by e-mail or by publishing it on a web page.

Thus, digitally or interpersonally, brainstorming represents a revolution in the new way of making decisions and facing problems within companies. Creativity is the starting point and with it, the members of the organization come together to debate and solve, together, the adversities of the day to day.

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