History and use of brainstorming – make your start with free training now

The Birth of Brainstorming

History and use of brainstorming

In 1941, Alex Osborn, an advertising executive, observed that conventional business meetings were stifling the generation of new ideas. He proposed a set of rules intended to stimulate creative thinking. Initially termed “think up,” this process eventually became known as “brainstorming.” Osborn defined 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 foundational rules he established are:

  1. No criticism of ideas.
  2. Aim for a large quantity of ideas.
  3. Build on each other’s ideas.
  4. Encourage wild and exaggerated ideas.

Osborn discovered that adherence to these rules significantly increased the volume of generated ideas, leading to a higher number of original and useful solutions. The key was in reducing people’s natural inhibitions, which often prevented them from sharing ideas they feared might be deemed “wrong” or “silly.” Surprisingly, even seemingly absurd ideas could spark highly useful ones by shifting conventional thought patterns.

This revolutionary technique has profoundly impacted our world, continually evolving with the introduction of new creative thinking techniques. Today, anyone can access a world of effortless idea generation, whether working individually or in a group.

For a deeper understanding of Osborn’s original methods, his book “Applied Imagination” is a recommended read.

The Global Influence of Brainstorming

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Since its inception in 1941, brainstorming has gained worldwide recognition. It’s a familiar concept to many educated managers, though its effectiveness is often hampered by inadequate training and limited access to high-quality resources. However, its utilization spans a wide array of sectors, including major corporations, charities, and government organizations. Despite many practitioners being unaware of the advanced techniques now available, the basic rules formulated over half a century ago continue to foster innovative solutions and career advancements. The creation of world-changing products and shaping one’s desired reality are among the exciting possibilities brainstorming offers.

Brainstorming sessions are a daily occurrence globally, sparking a continuous flow of new ideas and societal transformations. Embracing Advanced Brainstorming techniques can further enhance this creative process, even without the need for group participation.

Applications of Brainstorming

Brainstorming has been instrumental in developing a diverse array of fields and products, including but not limited to:

  • Advertising campaigns.
  • Marketing strategies and methods.
  • Research and Development procedures.
  • Research techniques.
  • Patents.
  • Physical products.
  • Written documents and articles.
  • Services.
  • Processes.
  • Engineering components.
  • Government policies.
  • Consumer research.
  • Factories.
  • Management methods.
  • Company structure and policy.
  • Investment decisions.
  • New industries.
  • Improved insurance policies.
  • And much more, limited only by your imagination!

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