The essence of brainstorming is idea generation aimed at finding solutions for various problems and predicaments. It is suitable for instances where creativity is needed since it entails redefining the problem. Creation of a free atmosphere is essential where team/group members are not afraid of criticism or censorship. There are instances enhanced by group support systems (GSS) where anonymity is preferred since less resilient members are able to contribute. This involved use of unnamed comments visible to all group members. When the comments or ideas are visible or known to other group members, they can be built on (Mumford, 2011).
Various guidelines are vital for the success of the process. The first is deferred judgment, criticism or evaluation of ideas generated. This means ideas are first generated in quantity without evaluation facilitating members to build on existent ideas since they are not marked as wrong or right. Additionally, it prevents process loss since individuals can generate ideas without evaluation apprehension. An uninterrupted flow of ideas is facilitated since there are fewer interjections inform of evaluative comments.
The second guideline is emphasis on quantity. Contrary to popular belief, quantity in the brainstorming process is attained by encouraging individualism other than group thinking. Research has shown, quantity is more in nominal groups than groups aiming at generating more ideas collectively. Nominal groups constitute of individual ideas summed up after a session. The reason for increased quantity is attributed to decreased process loss as occurs when people wait for others to speak. Generating ideas simultaneously is currently facilitated by information technologies where ideas are generated on electronic platforms. Quantity is also attained by pre-agreed regulations in the brainstorming process. This aids the participants to concentrate on the problem at hand (Olson& Wu 2008).
Other important guidelines include capturing every idea for recording purposes and encouraging participants to build on previously generated ideas. Brainstorming is applicable in situations where the organization intends to reduce the risk on one of its product lines or while seeking possible cost cutting measures. These scenarios require creativity and diverse options for consideration. On a personal level, brainstorming can be applied to decide the nature of gifts to present to friends or family or likely place for vacation.
Mumford, M. D. (2011). Handbook of Organizational Creativity. Burlington: Elsevier Science.
Olson, D. L., & Wu, D. D. (2008). Enterprise risk management. Singapore [u.a.]: World Scientific.