Creative Problem Solving:


10 Brainstorming Rules

A Team-Based Creative Thinking Technique

Vadim Kotelnikov personal logo Vadim Kotelnikov

Founder, Ten3 Business e-Coach Inspiration and Innovation Unlimited!




10 Brainstorming Rules

  1. Set directions. Describe the situation and define the problem. Help people to understand the problem to be solved and clarify the objectives. Focus on productive objectives and keep group on track.

  2. Involve everyone. Encourage everyone to contribute. Control dominating participants. Celebrate diversity. Use different techniques to draw ideas from group.

  3. Encourage cross-fertilization. Build on each other. Let others' ideas take you somewhere else. Combine, synergize, and improve upon ideas.

  4. Encourage outside-the-box thinking. Challenge assumptions. Be creative. Go crazy. Sometimes the wildest ideas lead to great ones. The wilder the ideas the better Step out of your shoes to surface new insights. ("What if you were a cat, or a film scenario writer how would you solve the problem?"). Encourage active listening.

  5. Don't overlook the obvious the obvious solution is sometimes the best.

  1. Suspend judgment. No ideas are bad ideas. All ideas are good ideas. (Actually, a minority opinion offered during group decision making often stimulates more innovative solutions to a problem).

  2. Don't fear repetitions. At different moments you see with different eyes. During discussion afterwards the duplicate ideas you may find them different or they may trigger a different response at a different time.

  3. Don't stop and discuss. Go for quantity, not quality. Keep the momentum going.

  4. Record and display each idea. Make sure each idea is complete don't use one-word descriptions to avoid misunderstanding. Don't edit.

  5. Apply the 80/20 Principle and change hats to select the best ideas. Look through your list of ideas and circle the 20% that will yield 80% of the results you are looking for. Encourage full-spectrum thinking.