Individual vs. group brainstorming - Deepstash
Individual vs. group brainstorming

Individual vs. group brainstorming

  • Individual brainstorming is most effective when you need to solve a simple problem, generate a list of ideas, or focus on a broad issue. 
  • Group brainstorming is often more effective for solving complex problems.

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MORE IDEAS FROM Brainstorming: Generating Many Radical, Creative Ideas

  • groups aren't always strict in following the rules of brainstorming, and bad behaviors creep in
  • people pay so much attention to other people that they don't generate ideas of their own – or they forget these ideas while they wait for their turn to speak. 

On your own, you don't have to worry about other people's egos or opinions, and you can be freer and more creative.

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It encourages people to come up with thoughts and ideas that can, at first, seem a bit crazy. Some of these ideas can be crafted into original, creative solutions to a problem, while others can spark even more ideas. 

This helps to get people unstuck by "jolting" them out of their normal ways of thinking.

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To run a group brainstorming session:
  1. Prepare the Group: set a comfortable meeting environment, consider who will attend the session and how much preparation is necessary in advance.
  2. Present the Problem: clearly define the problem that you want to solve, and lay out any criteria that you must meet. Give people plenty of quiet time at the start of the session, then, ask them to share their ideas.
  3. Guide the Discussion: encourage everyone to contribute and to develop ideas, including the quietest people, and discourage anyone from criticizing ideas.

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  • You can take advantage of the full experience and creativity of all team members
  • When one member gets stuck with an idea, another member's creativity and experience can take the idea to the next stage. 
  • It helps everyone feel that they've contributed to the solution.
  • Great teambuilding exercise.

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  • It brings team members' diverse experience into play. It increases the richness of ideas explored, which means that you can often find better solutions.
  • It can help you get buy-in from team members for the solution chosen – after all, they're likely to be more committed to an approach if they were involved in developing it. 
  • It helps team members bond, as they solve problems in a positive, rewarding environment.

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Group or Individual Brainstorming?

While group brainstorming is often more effective at generating ideas than normal group problem solving, several studies have shown that individual brainstorming produces more – and often better – ideas than group brainstorming.

Individual brainstorming can produce better ideas because you're less likely to run into counter-productive behaviors.

However, the best brainstorming takes advantage of both individual and group work.

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Reverse Brainstorming

Reverse brainstorming is used when it is difficult to identify solutions to the problem directly. It involves combining brainstorming and reversal techniques.

Start with one of two reverse questions.

  • Instead of asking "How do I solve or prevent this problem?" ask, "How could I cause the problem?"
  • Instead of asking "How do I achieve these results?" ask, "How could I achieve the opposite?"

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The best ideas come to those who wait

Many of us think that our creativity comes from our first ideas. We assume that finding creative solutions slow down over time.

This assumption is wrong, research suggests. The best ideas come to those who wait. Patience and perseverance will lead to more innovative solutions.

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