Overcoming obstacles and problems in Brainstorming – a free how to guide

Traditional brainstorming, while a valuable tool for idea generation, often encounters specific obstacles that can hinder creativity and productivity. Understanding and addressing these challenges can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your brainstorming sessions. This section will offer solutions and techniques to navigate through these common hurdles.

Overview of Common Obstacles to Creativity:

Overcoming obstacles and problems in Brainstorming Sessions
  1. Habit and Routines
  2. Fear of Making Mistakes
  3. Beliefs and Upbringing
  4. Fear of Consequences
  5. Weight of Previous Solutions
  6. Absolute Truths and Principles
  7. Fear of Change
  8. Comfort with Patterns
  9. Certainty and Boredom
  10. Self-Doubt and Self-Criticism
  11. Stress
  12. Rational Thought
  13. Politeness
  14. Fear of Appearing Childish
  15. Specialization
  16. Unwillingness to Play Games
  17. Language Barriers
  18. Age-Related Constraints
  19. Lack of Time
  20. Ego

Summary of Overcoming Obstacles generally:

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  1. Ways to Kill and Ways to Help an Idea:
    • Focus on nurturing ideas rather than immediately critiquing them.
    • Encourage an open-minded environment where all ideas are valued.
  2. Overcoming Group-Related Problems:
    • Facilitate an inclusive atmosphere where every participant feels comfortable to contribute.
    • Use techniques to ensure equal participation and to manage dominant personalities.
  3. Overcoming Individual Perspective Problems:
    • Address personal fears related to brainstorming, like the fear of judgment or failure.
    • Encourage a shift in mindset to view brainstorming as a safe space for creativity.

Addressing each Obstacles for traditional brainstorming sessions

  • Habit and Routines: Introduce new brainstorming formats or locations to break monotony.
  • Fear of Making Mistakes: Foster a culture where mistakes are seen as stepping stones to learning.
  • Beliefs and Upbringing: Encourage diverse perspectives to challenge ingrained beliefs.
  • Fear of Consequences: Assure that brainstorming is a risk-free zone with no negative repercussions.
  • Weight of Previous Solutions: Encourage thinking outside the box, beyond established solutions.
  • Fear of Change: Gradually introduce new ideas to ease the transition from the familiar.
  • Comfort with Patterns: Challenge the status quo by posing ‘What if?’ scenarios.
  • Self-Doubt and Self-Criticism: Build confidence through positive reinforcement.
  • Stress: Create a relaxed environment to reduce pressure and enhance creativity.
  • Rational Thought: Encourage imaginative thinking that isn’t limited by practical constraints.
  • Fear of Appearing Childish: Emphasize the value of playful, uninhibited thought.
  • Specialization: Blend diverse skill sets and viewpoints for a well-rounded perspective.
  • Lack of Time: Allocate dedicated time for brainstorming, ensuring it’s not rushed.

Addressing each Obstacles for advanced brainstorming sessions using brainstorming software

Here’s how software tools can address each of the identified obstacles:

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  1. Habit and Routines
    • Software can introduce novel prompts and scenarios, breaking the monotony of routine thinking patterns.
  2. Fear of Making Mistakes
    • The impersonal nature of software-generated prompts can reduce the fear of judgment, encouraging more open idea generation.
  3. Beliefs and Upbringing
    • Software can offer diverse and unbiased prompts that challenge ingrained beliefs and perspectives.
  4. Fear of Consequences
    • The random and exploratory nature of software-generated ideas can create a safe space for risk-taking in thought.
  5. Weight of Previous Solutions
    • Software can provide prompts that are entirely unrelated to previous solutions, encouraging fresh thinking.
  6. Absolute Truths and Principles
    • Software can generate scenarios that challenge existing norms and principles, fostering flexible thinking.
  7. Fear of Change
    • By regularly introducing new and diverse prompts, software can gradually acclimatize individuals to change and innovation.
  8. Comfort with Patterns and Certainty
    • The unpredictability of software-generated prompts can help participants step out of their comfort zones.
  9. Boredom
    • Software can keep sessions dynamic with a continuous supply of engaging and varied prompts.
  10. Self-Doubt and Self-Criticism
    • The objective nature of software prompts can help reduce personal biases and self-criticism in idea generation.
  11. Stress
    • Automated prompts can streamline the brainstorming process, reducing the stress associated with idea generation.
  12. Rational Thought and Politeness
    • Software-generated ideas can be outlandish or unconventional, encouraging participants to think beyond rational boundaries without fear of offending others.
  13. Fear of Appearing Childish
    • The use of software legitimizes all ideas, no matter how playful or unconventional, as part of the creative process.
  14. Specialization
    • Software can offer prompts that encourage thinking outside one’s area of expertise, promoting cross-disciplinary insights.
  15. Unwillingness to Play Games
    • Interactive and game-like software tools can make the brainstorming process more appealing and less formal.
  16. Language and Age Barriers
    • Software can provide prompts in various languages and tailored to different age groups, ensuring inclusivity.
  17. Lack of Time
    • Quick generation of prompts by software can make brainstorming sessions more time-efficient.
  18. Ego
    • The impartiality of software-generated prompts can shift focus from individual egos to the ideas themselves.


In summary, software-generated prompts can significantly mitigate many of the challenges associated with traditional brainstorming, offering a more efficient, diverse, and bias-free approach to idea generation. However, it’s important to note that software tools may not be as effective in addressing deeply personal barriers such as self-doubt, and their effectiveness can vary based on the group’s openness to technological solutions.

By recognizing and strategically addressing these obstacles, your brainstorming sessions can become more dynamic, inclusive, and ultimately more productive.

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