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Group brainstorming has become a creative idea-generation method in many organizsations since Osborn’s first (1957) book was published, where Osborn suggested, that a single person brainstorming in a group would produce alomst twice as many ideas than brainstorming alone. The problem is, almost in all experimental studies, group brainstorming was found to lead to the generation of fewer ideas as compared to the same number of people brainstorming alone, counting their ideas in the end (Diehl & Stroebe, 1987; Mullen et al., 1991).
The difficulties with group brainstorming are:
Paper / documents to work on together like „notion“Pencil
Overview:Brainstorming in the team, trying two different excercises for divergent thinking and trying brainwriting
Goal: Getting to know the pitfalls of brainstorming and ways to improve it
The Brainstorming excercise is a little Warm Up.
Making breaks while brainstorming has two benefits: the cognitive one is, that a break can eleminate functional fixedness on a certain category or being stuck. To have this positive effect of a break, participants have to do a unrelated activity during their break. The other benefit is motivational, a break simply remotivates the participants (Coskun, 2005).Divergent thinking is helpful for brainstorming, divergent thinkers for example offer more divers ideas or opinions (Engelmann & Gettys, 1985; Nemeth & Nemeth-Brown, 2003) and scan a larger number of categories. You can create this effect during you brainstorming session, if you do a short divergent thinking task
Everybody should write (on their own) as many alternative uses as they can come up with for this common object. (4 minutes)
Expamples: brick, pencil, towel etc.
Everybody should generate (on their own) as many words as they can from this set of letters and write them down. (4 minutes)Examples: A D L F A U R, K S E F S I E E N I T
An alternative to the classic brainstorming is brainwriting.
Every participant gets a sheet of paper and a pencil in a different colour. Everybody writes their first idea on the paper and give it to the person on the left.Now everybody read the existing idea on their new paper and try to think of another. If you have no new ideas, just read the ones on your paper and give it to the person on your left.
Didn’t go as expected? Check out the following tips.
Your team doesn’t engage in the brainstorming as much as you would likeAsk the team about different topics they may find more interesting to brainstorm about. You can even chose something you are currently working on.