Brainstorming: 10 Rules
Problem Solving Strategies: 4 Levels
Creative Problem Solving: Switching Perceptions
Turn Problems to Opportunities: 6 Tips
A Brainstorming Innovation Group
(BIG) project supported by the European Regional Development Fund has
allowed Technology Enterprise Kent, in England, to develop a new method to
thinking in small- and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) and other groups.
2 Creativity Catalysts
They use computer software during
brainstorming sessions to elicit and capture ideas in a more professional
and flexible manner than traditional methods.
In each BIG session, participants
have laptop computers linked within a wireless network to contribute and
develop ideas. Input can be anonymous, if preferred, and as each person
types in their suggestions they can see everybody else's contributions
popping up on the screen at the same time.
Same Reality, Different Perceptions
"What tends to happen is that some
people send in the first few tentative suggestions, then suddenly you are
hit by a flood of ideas that start surging in and feeding off one another,"
says Peter Parsons, chief executive of Technology Enterprise Kent.
The sessions are led by a
professional facilitator, and as each session develops the facilitator can
begin sorting the ideas into various themes and making it easier for them to
be refined. The participants can eventually vote on various options, again
anonymously, if preferred, allowing the support for different ideas to be
At the end of a session all of the
input and results will have been captured electronically, and can be given
or e-mailed to the participants, ready for them to analyze and consider
further when they get back to the workplace.
"This is a huge improvement over
more traditional systems, where ideas get noted down on flip charts or paper
pads, then typed up, often with errors and misunderstandings, and then
delivered to participants much later when the burst of creative enthusiasm
may have waned," comments Parsons.