Practical Information
Updated on:  Wednesday, November 04, 2015 04:31 AM


I'm an idea man. I love to dream up new products and services. Whenever some new technology becomes available I imagine all kinds of applications. I have also been paid as a consultant to lead brainstorm sessions that generate new product ideas for a company.  Brainstorming is very powerful tool that anyone can master. I have included in these pages some guidelines for conducting your own brainstorm sessions. I have also included some tricks that I have used when I'm searching for new ideas.                                            Dave Johnson

Brainstorming as Imagineering
Updated:  Monday, December 14, 2015 04:46 AM

In 1939, a team led by advertising executive Alex F. Osborn coined the term "brainstorm."  So it really is true, “Everything old it new again.”  Today it is by far the most widely used technique used to stimulate imagineering.  He is credited with saying: "It is easier to tone down a wild idea than to think up a new one.
Brainstorming is a technique used by large and small companies for problem-solving, learning and development, planning and team building. It is a lateral thinking process. Lateral thinking is the process of share ideas and thoughts no matter how silly they may seem. These ideas are eventually evaluated, improved and transformed into useful ideas.
Brainstorming can also be done on your own.  Generally individuals, brainstorming privately, tends to generate a wider range of ideas.  Group brainstorming tend to generate less. The downside is that private sessions may not produce ideas as effectively because an individual does not have the benefit of the group’s experience.

Setting up a Brainstorming Session

  • Invite a diversity of individuals – diverse in experience, knowledge of the problem, and position.  Each group consisting of 5-7 individuals, no more than 8 - 12.
  • Dismiss the session for about 40 minutes and allow individuals to thinking about the problem on their own before scheduling another session.  Larger groups may need more time to get everyone's ideas out.
  • Present a brief explanation of the problem and its history. Be as specific as possible.  The more specific the explanation, the more productive the brainstorming session will be. ;  Concisely write down the problem and obtain agreement with the wording.  It is critical that all participants understand the problem to be solved. 
  • Write the objective of the session, in question form,  where everyone in the room can see it. Examples:  "How can we…?" or "What can be done to…?"  
  • Explain the guidelines.  Having fun is the key. 
  • Periodically select an idea randomly and read it to the group.  Ask what new ideas come to mind.
  • At the end of the brainstorming session, arrange the similar ideas together.  Select the five best ideas.
  • Appoint a facilitator who records ideas and keeps the session moving in a positive direction.  Use a chalkboard, white board or flip chart to record ideas.  Or distribute post it notes on which individuals write their own ideas.
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Brainstorming Guidelines
Ideas Generation Exercises
Searching for New Ideas for addition examples for Brainstorming as Imagineering

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