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11 Brainstorming Techniques To Generate Unique Ideas For Businesses [Brainstorming Templates Included]
Ever found a solution to a problem, generated an idea for a startup, or just gave a random suggestion to a friend? If yes, you brainstormed. Consciously or sub consciously, we have used brainstorming at some or the other point of time in our lives.
Ideas, opinions, suggestions and recommendations, all are the end result of brainstorming.
We need regular brainstorming sessions in our businesses, projects, group meetings and wherever required. Nevertheless, you need to implement brainstorming correctly for it to be fully compelling.
We bring you 13 most used brainstorming techniques for you to put them to use effectively.
1) The Stepladder Technique:
This technique is widely used in brainstorming as it encourages every member of the group to participate without getting influenced by each other. How it works is that initially just the two members of the group discuss the topic (and everyone else leaves the room). Then one by one, each member joins the discussion. This way, it is both individual and group brainstorming. It also helps shy people to open up in the discussion without getting intimidated from anyone.
This technique leads to many possible ideas, eventually leading to one great idea.
2) 6-3-5 Brainwriting:
This particular method is basically more of idea generation than discussion. A topic is shared with everyone in the group and they are asked to write down 3 ideas on a sheet. After 6 rounds, participants need to swap their sheet with another participant sitting to their right. In this way, 108 ideas are generated.
3) Online Brainstorming:
Also known as Brain –Netting. It means brainstorming on the internet. We live in a virtual world. You might have known that there are various software available on the net that let you share your ideas and maintain your privacy as well. Once the ideas are collaborated, those ideas come out open publicly.
4) Crawford’s Slip Writing Method:
Brain writing or slip writing, this technique consists of participants putting their ideas on post it notes or index cards anonymously and then sharing those ideas randomly with other participants. Other participants can add up something to the idea or critique it. This method leads to a lot number of collective ideas.
5) Reverse Brainstorming:
Reverse Brainstorming makes you ask questions. An apt approach to this technique is to ask yourself: How could I possibly cause the issue? And how could I possibly achieve the opposite effect? Ask would it work? Or are there other better solutions?
6) Star Busting:
This technique again leads you to think about the possible questions for the topic. It has a 6 pointed star. Write the name of the topic or a problem in the middle. Create 6 questions around it having words what, where, when, why, who and how. Use these words to develop questions around the topic. Use these questions to have a discussion that will lead you to a great idea.
7) Charlotte Procedure:
Charlotte Procedure or Charrette Procedure is a brainstorm session consisting of people from different departments. People are divided into smaller groups. Once the discussion is over with first group, their ideas are passed onto the other group. By the end of the Charrette, each idea may have been discussed four or five times leading to the refined ideas.
8) Round Robin Brainstorming:
Team is gathered in a circle. Topic is shared and everyone gets to contribute their idea. Good thing is that all the ideas are evaluated at the end so everyone gets to pitch their ideas.
9) Role Storming:
Role Storming technique helps you figure out what are customer’s requirements, what do clients want and all the internal and external challenges. Participants take up a role of a person whose experience relates to their brainstorming goal (be it client, customer or anyone else). Role Storming gives surprising insights into challenges and solutions.
10) Morphological Analysis:
Morphological Analysis lets you combine and blend different elements to generate new ideas. For instance, a chart is created including different features of the product such as possible materials, designs, sizes and functionalities, market sectors, customer needs and promotional methods. Once the chart is completed, different characteristics it consists of can be combined in different ways in order to figure out the best ideas for potential new products and services.
11) The Synectics Technique:
Synectics uses metaphorical processes and analogues information to encourage thinking. The information is exchanged within a group of different personalities having a team player being a dominant in the discussion.
12) Attribute Listing Technique:
Attribute Listing is a creative technique carried out to find new ideas and innovative products and services. It consists of breaking the problem down into smaller parts and looking at alternative solutions to these parts.
13) The Delphi Method:
Various rounds of questionnaires are sent out to the people, and the anonymous responses are collected and shared with the group after each round. Since multiple rounds of questions are asked and then finally the panel is told what the group thinks as a whole, the Delphi method seeks to reach the desired response through consensus.
Work on a single technique or combine these together. These will eventually help you generate unique ideas. All you have to do is to have more and more brainstorming sessions.
“Brainstorming is the nexus of ideas”. –Asa Don Brown.
Good luck for your next brainstorming session and let us know in the comment section below if any of these techniques were useful to you.