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Manual brainstorming tools and techniques

If you still insist on using manual techniques then this part of the training course will show you how you can do that. We believe that you will find our software easier and better than anything you can achieve manually. Manually, it is possible to do most of the things you can do with a computer but it just takes longer, is more frustrating and can interrupt the flow of your session.

The aim of the tools is to provide you with a stimulus to spark off ideas and discussions in your brainstorming session. By providing an original stimulus for your discussions you will get original ideas as a result.

How to manually get your stimuli using the various techniques

Random Word
Get a dictionary, magazine or novel and open it up at a random page and pick a random word from it. Try to make sure the word is actually selected randomly and, if you're using a publication other than a dictionary, that it covers a range of topics. Or, you could choose a number of a page and a number of a line before opening the book, then go to that particular page and line and pick the first word or noun as the stimulus. (Only brainstorming software can pick a random word truly randomly.)

Random Picture
Get a general interest magazine or an illustrated encyclopedia and open it up at a random page and pick a random picture from it. Try to make sure the picture is actually selected randomly and that the magazine definitely covers a range of topics.

False Rules
Get a magazine, book or rule book and open it up at a random page and pick a random phrase or sentence from it. Again, try to make sure the book covers a range of topics.

Random Website
Go to one of the search engines (eg. Yahoo!) and use their random website function.

Work through all of the topics related to SCAMPER and ask yourself questions related to that topic.

Search & Reapply
Look around you and try to find an area which you can reapply the principles from. Think of related areas or similar situations and find out how other people succeed in a similar way.

Challenge Facts
Write down all of the facts and features related to your probortunity. Write a sentence stating the reverse of that fact. Now see what would happen if that were true and find out how you would respond.

Encourage people to break free from their social inhibitions and conventions and invite them to live in a world of make-believe and pretence (for some this may not be difficult!). See what ideas are produced.

Make an analogy to another business or situation, look at their solutions, and then discover new ideas about your own situation.

Wishful Thinking
Write down your ultimate fantasies and dreams about the perfect solution. Ask yourself how great it would be if only something else did it for you. Then rationalize these solutions and see how else they could be achieved.

Use a thesaurus and find the words which describe your probortunity. Write down alternative words and also their antonyms (their opposites). Exchange the words in your probortunity statement to discover new ways of seeing it and other possible solutions.

All of these manual techniques will become quicker and easier to apply if you use dedicated software for the purpose. Please feel free to try your sessions with and without our software to experience the difference in quality. Tell us your experiences.

Now that we have covered the physical tools available to you we will investigate the organizational obstacles often associated with traditional brainstorming sessions and we will suggest advanced techniques to overcome them.

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