Speed dating brainstorming

By Connie Williams I went to an innovation process conference recently and was treated to a demonstration of traditional brainstorming by two excellent speaker/presenters.

A group of about 150 people were divided into teams of around 15 to 20, assigned one member as a facilitator, provided with some guidelines (get ideas fast, say out loud, no evaluating ideas, etc.) given post it notes and sharpies and asked to do 10 minutes of idea generation around a topic of general interest to the participants.

This was traditional “brainstorming”, but what does “brainstorming” really mean today?

At the end of the experience, have students work in their pairs to discuss what they learned.) When it came time for questions and comments after the experience, many attendees in the room acknowledged that they, too, used brainstorming in their firms, but comments were made as to its shortcomings: for many it was not yielding really new, breakthrough ideas, participants tended to pick the ideas they already knew how to do rather than really fresh ideas and that it was difficult to offer ideas and listen to ideas to build at the same time.Synecticsworld’s founders actually met and compared notes with Osborne and then developed the Synectics Process to get more speculative ideas.Twelve pairs of students asked the same questions to twelve different practitioners, essentially receiving twelve different insights on one particular issue in the same amount of time used in a traditional panel discussion.In preparation for this event, students were asked to work in pairs to brainstorm questions for the practitioners/panelists.

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