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Part IV: Step 1: Problem Recognition > Brainstorming Guidelines

Chapter 20. Brainstorming Guidelines

Following are some helpful guidelines to apply to your brainstorming sessions. The discussion moderator’s role takes on added importance if this method is to be successful. If team members edit, judge, react negatively or just frown at another’s contributions, brainstorming breaks down.

Question: The discussion moderator clearly announces the focus of the session—the key question the team will be answering.
Post: The recorder writes down this key question.
Toss Out: All participants toss out as many ideas as possible.
Accept: All ideas, however impractical or crazy, are accepted.
Record: The recorder posts all ideas for everyone to see.
Prompt: The discussion moderator keeps posing the key question without variation to keep the process on track.
No Editing: The discussion moderator reminds the participants, as necessary, that no one is allowed to edit, criticize or evaluate any suggestion overtly or covertly until the process is done.
Build: Participants build on others’ ideas. This triggers new thoughts which snowball the team process.
Synergy: By focusing this interaction, the team taps the creative energy of each participant and fuses it in a chain reaction—This is synergy, a combined or cooperative action which is more productive than the sum total of all individual efforts.



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