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The birth of brainstorming


In 1941 Alex Osborn, an advertising executive, found that conventional business meetings were inhibiting the creation of new ideas and proposed some rules designed to help stimulate new ideas. He was looking for rules which would give people the freedom of mind and action to spark off and reveal new ideas. To "think up" was originally the term he used to describe the process he developed, and that in turn came to be known as Brainstorming. He described brainstorming as "a conference technique by which a group attempts to find a solution for a specific problem by amassing all the ideas spontaneously by its members.


No criticism of ideas Encourage wild and exaggerated ideas Go for large quantities of ideas Build on each others ideas


Set the goal/Define the problem Gather the appropriate group Collect the quantity of ideas Analyse the ideas

PROCESS ( cont)

Debate and discuss the best possible way (Brainstorm) Finalize the path Go for implementation

Types of brainstorming  Individual brainstorming  Question Brainstorming Electronic brainstorming Directed brainstorming

Individual brainstorming
Use of brainstorming on a solitary basis

Includes free writing, free speaking, word association, and drawing a mind map, which is a visual note taking technique in which people diagram their thoughts.

Question Brainstorming
Brainstorming the questions, rather than trying to come up with immediate answers and short term solutions. Stimulates creativity and promotes everyone's participation because no one has to come up with answers. The answers to the questions form the framework for constructing future action plans Brainstorming all the questions has also been called Questorming.

Electronic brainstorming
Electronic brainstorming is a computerized version of the manual brainstorming technique. It is typically supported by an electronic meeting system (EMS) but simpler forms can also be done via email and may be browser based, or use peer-to-peer software. Participants share a list of ideas over the Internet. Ideas are entered independently. Brainstorming also enables much larger groups to brainstorm on a topic than would normally be productive in a traditional brainstorming session.

Directed brainstorming
Each participant is given one sheet of paper They are asked to produce one response and stop, then all of the papers are randomly swapped among the participants. The forms are then swapped again and respondents are asked to improve upon the ideas, and the process is repeated for three or more rounds. Directed brainstorming has been found to almost triple the productivity of groups over electronic brainstorming.

Nominal group technique Group passing technique Team idea mapping method

Group passing technique




Research & design

Business development

Out-of-box ideas and innovative ideas comes out. To get the best possible way to achieve the goals. Optimize and explore more resources. Enhances the product, service or sale. There are no wrong answers in brainstorming. It extracts as many ideas as possible to achieve the goals.

All the members may not agree Leads to argument and affects harmony Inter-personal relations may get affected Time-consuming

Case study


Princeware international Pvt. Ltd. is producing consumer usable plastic products like kitchenware, house ware, thermo ware, bath ware and furniture since 1970s. Its production units are located in Daman, India and Zambia, Africa. Its distribution channel is across the country and in the overseas market.

Technique / process followed by princeware Regular meetings within the various departments Agenda of meeting is provided. Team has to come up with various ideas and the team leader follows mind-mapping technique. Explore options and analyse them. Decide the journey for implementation.


Brainstorming is a powerful tool to make impossible, possible by getting out-of-box ideas, if used creatively and productively.