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Abstract Brainstorming is a method for developing creative solutions to problems It works by focusing on a problem and then deliberately coming up with as many deliberately unusual solutions as possible and by pushing the ideas as far as possible One approach to brainstorming is to seed the session with a word pulled randomly from a dictionary This word will be as a starting point in the process of generating ideas During the brainstorming session there is no criticism of ideas - the idea is to open up as many possibilities as possible and break down preconceptions about the limits of the problem Once this has been done the results of the brainstorming session can be analyzed and the best solutions can be explored either using further brainstorming or more conventional solutions History Birth of brainstorming In the 1930s Alex Osborn an agency advertising executive in New York found that conventional business meetings were inhibiting the creation of new ideas and proposed some rules designed to help stimulate them He was looking for rules which would give people the freedom of mind and action to spark off and reveal new ideas To think up was originally the term he used to describe the process he developed and that in turn came to be known as brainstorming He described brainstorming as a conference technique by which a group attempts to find a solution for a specific problem by amassing all the ideas spontaneously by its members The rules he came up with are the following No criticism of ideas Go for large quantities of ideas Build on each others ideas Encourage wild and exaggerated ideas He found that when these rules were followed a lot more ideas were created and that a greater quantity of original ideas gave rise to a greater quantity of useful ideas Quantity produced quality Using these new rules peoples natural inhibitions were reduced inhibitions which
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