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The BRAINSTORMING: What is it? Definition, method and animation
Article published on 16 November 2016
last modification on 25 November 2017
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Imagined by Alex Osborn, American advertising executive, who implemented it in 1940 in the agency BBDO, the BRAINSTORMING is a technique of creativity in a group allowing to produce most possible ideas, in a minimum of time on a given theme.
This technique is used in most of the stages of the resolution of problems, in particular for:

  • List the problems to be studied during the launch of a project or during its progress,
  • Determine the possible causes of the studied problem,
  • Find all the solutions or possible solution items.


The BRAINSTORMING must be organized by a Moderator who owes:

  • Announce the studied purpose of the BRAINSTORMING,
  • make sure of the representativeness of the convened people,
  • have a support to note the suggestions which will remain visible to the think tank,
  • to lead the group by favoring the production of ideas.

The progress of the BRAINSTORMING is made in three phases:

1- The launch:
The Moderator calls back the rules of functioning then he presents and formulates the problem in the form of a question.

2- The production of ideas:
The Moderator asks to the members of the group to note in a limited time (around five minutes), on a sheet all the ideas on the subject, coming into the head of them. The Moderator registers then the ideas that express alternately every member of the group. This phase can be also realized without the paper base, we make then gathering of opinions until exhaustion of the ideas.

3- The exploitation of the produced ideas:
The Moderator reviews with the group, all the ideas noted to repeat little clear ideas and eliminate the irrelevant ideas. We can then try to group the similar ideas and to repeat the final ideas. It is advisable then in a last time to rank (to organize into a hierarchy) these ideas to highlight the studied priorities that it is about causes or about solutions to a problem. We can turn to this end to the vote, has the use of the expansion of functions allocation of notes in the ideas or still in the diagram cause / effect.

Conclusion :
The BRAINSTORMING allows to succeed in finding thanks to the collective reflection the possible causes of a problem and solutions to this one.

However to increase the creativity of the group, it is advisable of:

Give free rein to his reflections without justifying anything, favoring the quantity by telling as much as possible about ideas, be inspired by ideas of others to enrich them or complete them, to refrain from criticizing, from discussing or from judging the emitted ideas.

PL Conseil suggests you livening up your sessions of Brainstorming


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BRAINSTORMING: the important role of an external animation

The principal roles of the Moderator are:

  • The preparation of the brainstorming
  • The preservation of the creative climate
  • The pipe of the debates
  • The follow-up of the debates and the writing of the report

The Moderator does not owe:

  • Participate in the production of ideas, monopolize the word, be both judge and jury.
  • To be involved by the subject - he owes credit note of the backward movement on the company and the stakes in the session of Brainstorming
  • Have an ancestry or a hierarchical function on the participants

PL Conseil suggests you livening up your sessions of Brainstorming:

  • Set up an appropriate group
  • Centre the collective work
  • Liven up the phase of collection
  • Uncork in decisions and actions

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