Brainstorming for Generating New Ideas

Brainstorming. Image source: Wikimedia commons
Brainstorming. Image source: Wikimedia commons
Masum Billah
Written by Masum Billah

When a group of people meet to generate new ideas around a specific area of interest, this situation can be called brainstorming which employs an individual’s interest, time and trying to go deep into a topic or area.  People are able to think more freely and move into new areas of thought to create numerous new ideas and solutions. It’s a process of generating new ideas and makes the generation of new ideas easy and is a tried-and-tested process. A human being can think of this as either a holistic experience when he is naturally creative.

If he is naturally logical then he can think of it as a process of following logical rules which stimulate his mind to think of a problem from a different angle. Naturally, there are techniques and environments which suit certain people better than others but brainstorming is flexible enough to be able to suit everyone. Brainstorming is the process whereby writers come up with ideas to write about. Doing any work without a little brainstorming means doing it without any preparation. Why should we give ourselves any additional tasks to do when we already have a huge paper staring us in the face is the thought of some people. No matter how good a writer or an individual is, braining storming is necessary to develop a quality product.

Brainstorming helps someone to think out of the box. It is very necessary and without brainstorming, we hardly think of going out of the box. The traditional and usual way of thinking peep into our minds when we avoid brainstorming. So, finding out a real and innovative solution, brainstorming is a must. There are generally four reasons that people turn to brainstorm such as –(i) when new ideas become essential  (ii) have a problem to solve (iii) looking to improve creative thinking (iv) when working together and better in a team becomes important or it is felt.

While it can sometimes create more problems than it solves by encouraging social loafing and rewarding some personalities over others, there are times when a team has to get together and come up with ideas. Freewriting, listing, clustering and mapping are useful techniques to do brainstorming. But no matter which technique someone uses, there are really two essential steps to the brainstorming process. They are – (i) general ideas and (ii) decide which ideas are good and which ones are not useful. Some people are mentally able to keep a lot of balls in the air and don’t need to write down their ideas as they brainstorm, but for most of us, it’s as good as we generate ideas to jot things down as we come up with them.

There is nothing worse than sitting in an exam room as the second’s tick by and realizing that you have jot wasted several precious minutes going on and on. You also don’t want to waste several hours of writing time by having to get rid of big, irrelevant sections of a term paper. Brainstorming isn’t reserved for groups of people, though that’s how most of us think of it. There are times when you are on your own and need to generate ideas and solve problems all the same. Association is a powerful way to get past typical thinking and to get out of a rut. We generally come up with ideas that are obvious at first, and associative brainstorming is a good way to artificially force yourself past that point instead of hours of work. Start the brainstorming but set a time limit. When the time is up, have your team members exchange what they were working on with another member, and continue brainstorming.

When you’re marketing a business, creativity, fresh ideas and innovation can contribute greatly to the success of your efforts. But creativity isn’t easily controlled, and often fresh ideas are hard to find. When you’re trying to come up with effective marketing campaigns, advertisements or slogans, brainstorming can help you get the creative juices flowing. One major advantage of brainstorming is that it requires us to think critically to solve a certain problem or create something innovative. The more we brainstorm, the better we become at encountering a problem and thinking about it critically. This means taking a topic or situation and looking at it in a logical and clear way, free from personal bias. Critical thinking may require us to break a topic or problem down into smaller parts.

When we need to be creative, our own brain can become our worst enemy. That’s because creative thoughts may get jumbled and confused in our head, preventing us from thinking them through clearly. We may also come up with a vague idea, but find ourselves unable to get the idea to take a definite shape. Brainstorming requires us to pull the jumbled ideas from our head and get them out – either audibly or on paper. Seeing or discussing these ideas can help you give them in detail and shape, increasing the likelihood of finding something innovative.

When you practice brainstorming as a group, you take team ownership of a campaign, product or event. This means that one person isn’t left feeling like he is carrying the workload for the entire company, and also cultivates a feeling of team ownership. Groups that practice brainstorming together may also learn how to work together better. Your brainstorming sessions will enable you to see certain talents or expertise in your coworkers of which you weren’t aware and it can give you a great advantage in times of your need. It definitely fosters a spirit of working together as well.

About the author

Masum Billah

Masum Billah

Masum Billah works as an Education Expert in the BRAC Education Program, BRAC, and President of the English Teachers' Association of Bangladesh (ETAB), Dhaka, Bangladesh.

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