Effective brainstorming:Five tips to tune your thought process

Hello Again ! Like all other posts of mine, this is no step to step guide to do anything, but a few tips that might prove useful or might bring a new perspective to look at the same thing. Here I am going to write about how you should tune your thinking in a brainstorming session to make it most productive.  The purpose of your session  may be to review an idea or a design or may be come up with a new idea or a solution.

Here are a few tips that are to do with how an individual thinks. It might take you a month or two  to be able to follow these tips:

1.  Articulate agenda, concepts, entities in one line. This is hard and may not come naturally to most of us, but this is something that pays off big time. Try describing your ideas, concepts, entities within your brainstorming session in 1 single line. Try using it and you ll realize the power this practice in clarifying and simplifying things.

2. Try to solve your problem using few entities (less than 4)  and then expand on top of them. Lets say you have a solution and you want to express it on a white-board. I would say start with very few boxes or entities involved in your solution. Generally whenever an idea strikes one’s mind, it does not have too many boxes involved. If there are too many to start with, try to brainstorm further and put them into categories, essentially trying to box multiple into one.

3. Keep track of the starting point(the initial problem) in a long of chain of thoughts. This one needs no further explanation, but in one line – this would help you cover all you wanted to in your discussion without missing any important points.

4.Choose the timing of the devil’s advocate very carefully. This is a biggie. Most of the innovative ideas get shot down in the initial stages. Give your idea or chain of thought enough time before you bring the devil into the discussion.

5. Try thinking in terms of words rather than abstract concepts. This is kind of related to the first point. But thinking in terms of words is very powerful as it enables you to widen your thinking your horizons, get further clarity and understand what you are talking about.

3 thoughts on “Effective brainstorming:Five tips to tune your thought process

  1. Nice one! Another key aspect for meaningful brainstorming is to keep the number of participants in single digits. Too many and it’s a presentation…you don’t need a hundred perspectives…only a few and then build upon them to get somewhere.

  2. @Rahul, Thanks for the comment! Your tip is a extremely valuable and is about the practical aspect of brainstorming. There are more such practices one should follow, like – make sure you use a white-board, preferably there should be a facilitator who gives direction and to new thoughts, the discussion should be equivocal and not a 20 min lecture by 1 person. While in this post I have tried putting down few points to tune the very thought process of a brainstormer. So these would be useful even when a single person is brainstorming with his own self.

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