Brainstorming & Ideas

I hear a lot about brainstorming - sorry for my naivety, but for a long time after I heard this term first, I did not know the meaning of the term. On researching on the internet, the best definition that I could get for brainstorming is, It’s a group creativity technique by which efforts are made to find a conclusion to a problem by gathering ideas spontaneously contributed by the members.

This got me thinking on how do I come up with / cook ideas. And I concluded that brainstorming, in the traditional sense, is not the best way for me to come up with ideas. On further reflection, here is how I think about new ideas and bring it to a conclusion.

  1. Ideas come naturally when thinking alone - Though this goes completely against the whole idea of brainstorming, but I generate the best ideas quickly when thinking alone. I gather this might be because of the social issues that make me hold back when in a group. Thinking out loud is difficult, for anyone. You are more comfortable with yourself than with anyone else.

  2. Debating ideas with a closed group - Once I have an idea which convinces me, I generally talk about it with a closed group of trusted friends and with people I am comfortable with. The idea is still in a larval stage and it is important to properly nurture it before discarding it. Debating with people you are comfortable with allows you to be direct, permits more mistakes and allows you more time in general. This is the perfect stage to better crystallise the idea. This is the stage when you should brainstorm on the idea till you could pitch it.

  3. Start with the idea - Starting with an idea does not necessarily mean to start implementing it. It should generally mean that you can now pitch the idea to a group and take the final decision. In a group, there are more number of people with varied ideas and less time. If you have got your idea-pitch ready at the second step, you could better communicate the idea at this stage.

It’s an art to come up with ideas and move forward with it and the way people do that differs greatly. But I think that this template could work better than the spontaneous flowing of ideas in a brainstorming session.


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