Coming up next week, I will be running a workshop with my team and will be encouraging brain storming when in there. My personal experience with brainstorming in groups has produced mixed results. I have observed that the following factors adversely impact the output of brainstorming.
- Attempts of one or more individuals to establish that their ideas are more important and useful
- General distraction-causing events (participants being called out by their supervisors, incoming phone calls, texting, and so on.)
- Many participants with worthy ideas feel daunted by other more aggressive and extroverted individuals.
- Participants take turns to speak. This leads to blocking of new ideas for other participants.
I believe that we could possibly eliminate the above issues, if the groups were selected with care, and if the group members knew one-another previously, brainstorming could generate excellent results. This guy, Edward DeBono, came up with this 6 thinking hats theory which was cool.
The White Hat: Is the hat of information. This means that when you wear a white hat, you think in terms of data and facts, which would also mean that you don’t really think at all. You “reflect” upon the information.
The Red Hat: Is the hat of intuition and feelings. When you wear this hat, you’ve got to open the windows of your mind and allow your feelings to flow freely. (Note that you should be careful if you wear the Red Hat around your boss/boss’s wife.)
The Black Hat: Is the logical hat of caution. When you wear the black hat, you try to look at the underside of everything.
The Yellow Hat: Is the logical hat of positivism. You wear this hat to think about the positives of everything.
The Green Hat: Is the hat of creativity. If your head is encased in green, you should think creatively/innovatively. You’ve got to come up with never before sort of ideas.
The Blue Hat: Is the hat of the moderator/facilitator. So, the person who wears the blue hat tries to think about the entire picture.