Brainstorming is a process of spontaneous thinking used by an individual or by a group of people to generate numerous alternative ideas while deferring judgment. Brainstorming is the crux of each of the stages of all problem-solving methods; and good brainstorming is great skill for inventors to have. Next time you get inventors' block try brainstorming your way clear.
- Suspend Criticism
Solo or in a group - people tend to automatically evaluate each suggested idea their own as well as others. Both internal and external criticism are to be avoided while brainstorming. Neither positive nor negative comments are allowed. Either type inhibits the free flow of thought and requires time which interferes with the next rule. Write ideas down as they presented/created and move on.
- Work for Quantity
Quantity breeds quality. People must experience a "brain drain" (get all the common responses out of the way) before the innovative, creative ideas can surface; therefore, the more ideas, the more likely they are to be quality ideas.
- Hitchhiking Welcome
Hitchhiking occurs when one idea produces a similar idea or an enhanced idea. All ideas should be recorded.
- Freewheeling Encouraged
Outrageous, humorous, and seemingly unimportant ideas should be recorded.