Brainstorming is more than just thinking up ideas, but rather the deep thought and evaluation of an idea into a written format. Thinking of brainstorming as a map of thoughts and strategies where effective use of time is employed and time management becomes a focal point in determining the success or failure of the idealized end goal allows for insightful deduction on what effective brainstorming truly is.
Brainstorming as defined by Colorado State University (CSU) is an informal way of generating topics to write about, or points to make about your goal.” CSU also states that it can be utilized at any time during the writing process; this can further be applied to mean the creation process. This demonstrates that brainstorming is a mode of selection of thoughts and constant transformation of thought into concrete usable frameworks to follow along the completion of an objective (backgrounder, presentation, advertisement, thesis, etc.)
Brainstorming is not reserved for any one particular field of expertise, but rather encompasses the entire professional work field. The professional world I just mentioned encompasses a very broad world as many of you are aware whether it be marketing, education, philosophy, and even to the sciences. In reality communication is used everywhere and to effectively portray and communicate to receive a desired outcome sufficient thought and planning must be practiced.
Brainstorming in the document by Scott G Isaken is identified as being developed for the sole purpose of “producing a checklist of ideas which can subsequently be evaluated and further processed.” This may seem to conflict with the proposed technical brainstorming I addressed, however it does not.
Group brainstorming was suggested only as a supplement to individual ideation, not a replacement. The document also expresses the four basic guidelines to brainstorming; no criticism, freewheeling, quantity, and combination and improvement. Speaking in a technical context, these rules are quite valid throughout brainstorming as it is a composite of ideas built upon one another with an evaluation of what is effective to what is necessary as well as considering the wordiness and impact of the final goal. Without being open to your ideas inspiration is lost as well as the essential personality factor.
Freewheeling is the constant generation of ideas with twists and high leveled goals; it is always better to simplify an idea rather than to realize that an idea is too plain and needs to be greatly revised to better suit the audience. This process of freewheeling coupled with the quantity of ideas serve as great tools in effective time management as it allows for elimination rather than addition along the way.
How? Through the elimination of an idealized topic a more centralized and accurate focus can be formulated which requires fewer time than the expansion of an idea or the addition of a topic to balance or add credibility and depth to the end objective. It holds true that it takes more time to formulate an idea than it does to cut it as thinking and evaluation of a new idea must occur while it is already completed if the ideas were already formulated and cut down during the creation process.
The final rule in brainstorming –combination and improvement-serves to allow the creation of a final objective that is effective and strong.
Hopefully you have gained new knowledge on the history and idea of brainstorming and can now utilize this new knowledge to better your professional strategies and plans.
Erin Carrington is a junior at the University of South Florida and aspires to be a doctor who helps many.