Generating ideas: brainstorming

Created by : Les 7 Sens
Last update : August 17, 2018


You wish: 

1. To quickly find the maximum number of solutions to a problem or the maximum number of creative ideas: concepts, objects, services...

2. To involve an entire group by lifting value judgements.

3. To open the door to more complex idea-seeking techniques.


You all know the brainstorming invented in 1939 by Alex OSBORN, vice president of the American advertising agency BBDO.

His main goal was to facilitate communication within his team.

He imagined to separate the phases of production of ideas and selection of ideas to get out of the blockages and judgements of the ideas emitted.

But today... do you really master the process? Mastering it is a key to understanding:

  • the principle of separation between the two phases: Production (divergence)/Selection (convergence) of ideas.
  • the principle of the Free Wheel in the phase of divergence: to express oneself in turn, as quickly as possible, briefly and without judgment.

A few tips:

- The pace is too fast to avoid rationalizations.

- The facilitator writes, numbers and rephrases each word at the same time: he switches from the board to the group very quickly (he can entrust another person with the note-taking to focus on the group and alternate between them).

- This process opens a research process, it is insufficient alone. It is sometimes called "purging" because it "releases" what is known but not expressed.



Formulate the subject

Build a short presentation in the form of a positively formulated sentence, without double negation, that summarizes what you are looking for or what the team is looking for.


Constitute the group

Surround yourself with 5 to 12 people maximum: members of your team, completed by non-experts of the subject and without sharing with you a relationship of direct hierarchy.

Les 7 Sens

Réseau de professionnels pour favoriser les compétences en créativité et l'éthique de l'humain.
See his method