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There has been a lot of talk about the effectiveness of Brainstorming recently. The big question is: Does Brainstorming work? Our short answer is simply, YES!
But let us explain what we think Brainstorming is. When we talk about Brainstorming we refer to the technique Alex Osborn defined in his classic book Applied Imagination. The definition of Brainstorming according to Osborn:
A creative conference for the sole purpose of producing a checklist of ideas – ideas which can serve as leads to problem solution – ideas which can subsequently be evaluated and further processed.
The Dynamic Balance of Creativity
Alex Osborn noted that two distinct kinds of thinking are essential to being creative:
Divergent Thinking: Generating lots of options
Convergent Thinking: Judging options, making decisions
Each of us does both kinds of thinking on a daily basis. The secret to creating new ideas, however, is to separate your divergent thinking from your convergent thinking. This means generating lots and lots of options before you consider judging them.
Divergent Thinking Guidelines
Convergent Thinking Guidelines