- Jessica Fernández
Brainstorming Into the World of Ideas
Have you ever had an idea or concept that you wish to develop into something? Perhaps you wish to write a new story or song, or even implement an innovative system to improve your company, but you feel stuck and don’t know where to begin. You have probably heard of the brainstorming method and have even tried it; however, sometimes it may not give the result one was expecting. There are many techniques and approaches to brainstorming that can help simplify the thinking process and get better results.
Brainstorming is a creative process and problem-solving method that can be done by a group of people to contribute to ideas and solutions. This method is often done individually to help people conceptualize ideas when brainstorming for an independent project such as writing or art. There are different types of brainstorming and choosing the correct technique is an important step for getting the desired outcome.
Some common brainstorming techniques are:
Stop-and-go Brainstorming: switch between creative thinking and evaluation. Brainstorm during a period of time, stop and evaluate the ideas, and then continue the process several times, alternating between brainstorm and evaluation.
Reverse Brainstorming: do the opposite of listing great ideas for a solution. Instead, list all the ways the plan or project could fail.
Brainwriting: with this technique all the team members can individually write their ideas on a paper and share them later with the group. This is a good way for more introverted members to freely express their ideas.
Lists or Bullets: list words and phrases to choose an idea to develop.
Mind Mapping: create a diagram where the main idea is in the center. Then start “dumping” ideas that correlate to the main theme and start connecting the dots, consequently creating a more solid concept.
Free Writing: consists of writing everything that comes to mind in a narrative way. The goal is to keep writing for a period of time even if it feels like nothing written is worth it. There will always be something that will help build the final product.
Rank Ideas: make a list of ideas and rank them in numbers, then compare each other in pairs, until only two finalists are left and the best idea on top.
There are many more creative ways for you to brainstorm ideas. Don’t limit yourself to a certain technique; create your own system if you feel it is the best way to reach a certain goal. When brainstorming, focus on quantity, not quality. You'll have time to work on the quality later. Don’t criticize ideas; no idea is a bad idea until it’s time to evaluate and select the best options and priorities. Encourage big ideas and build more from what others have to offer.
About the Author
Jessica Fernández graduated from the University of Puerto Rico, where she completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Audiovisual Communication with a second major in Advertising and Public Relations. She has worked as Production Assistant and actor for different student and local short films. Ms. Fernández is also a fiction writer, and a singer and songwriter under the artistic name “Jess the Singing Alien.”