In a business, creativity, fresh ideas and innovation can contribute greatly to the success of one’s efforts. But creativity isn’t easily controlled, and often fresh ideas are hard to find. To come up with effective solutions to any kind of problem, brainstorming can help a person get the creative juices flowing. One major advantage of brainstorming is that it requires a person to think critically to solve a certain problem or create something innovative. The more you brainstorm, the better you become at encountering a problem and thinking about it critically.
Brainstorming as a group is helpful in a lot many ways. When a person tries to brainstorm to come up with a solution to a problem all by himself, he/she is restricted to his/her own thinking capabilities. A person from a different background of expertise might come up with a different kind of solution that is more feasible and effective than the one you have come up with. Adding more people from various backgrounds to a brain storming session and enabling them to coordinate among themselves could result in more creative solutions to a problem. This is the reason why most of the companies conduct group brainstorming sessions in their companies.
This assignment has been very exciting to work upon. I have tried to include all the concepts that Professor Barry had taught us in class into conducting this activity. As proposed by ‘Guilford’, I have tried to maximize the four basic categories of divergent thinking like Fluency, Flexibility, Originality and elaboration while conducting this activity. I have conducted games prior to starting the session so as to make the participants comfortable with each other. I have constantly tried to make the group coordinate/ help among themselves with coming up with more and more ideas. Also, ‘Osborn’ mentioned in his book that ‘the most essential rules to organize a successful brainstorming session is to eliminate negativity and criticism’ which was exactly what I have tried to eliminate in the session that I have conducted. On the whole, I was able to conduct the activity successfully and ended up generating creative ideas to solve the problem.
Individual Idea Generation:
My problem statement is,
‘How might we find food easily in a fridge?’
It can also be simply and broadly put as ‘How can we organize the refrigerator?’
The above two statements are inter related as if the fridge is organized, we can find food easily and if we can find food easily, it means that the fridge is organized in some manner.
The following are the ideas I have come up with during my individual brainstorming session. I have come up with these ideas at different times over the week, all before the brainstorming session.
New warm up game:
I have put a lot of thought into coming up with a game that would not just be fun but also useful to the session in some way. I remembered Professor talking about how chocolate could increase the creativity of a person and that is when I came up with the following idea.
The game was pretty simple. I put chocolates in front of everyone and told them to eat as many as they could within 30 seconds with their hand tied at the back. This means that they should pick up the chocolates only using their tongues. This turned out to be a lot fun and we couldn’t stop laughing for a while.
After this, I have made the participants play the ‘Zip-Zap-Zop’ game that the professor made us play in the class.
At the end of this, it seemed as if all the four participants were comfortable with each other.
I wanted the people that are going to participate in the brainstorming activity to have different engineering backgrounds. So, I have asked people I played cricket with a few times to participate in the activity. The four people that participated were Naveen, Manas, Vineel and Roopesh. Naveen is a Ph.D student from Industrial Engineering. Manas is a masters student from Electrical engineering. Vineel is a masters student from biomedical engineering and Roopesh is a full time employee at Cargil.
I have explained them of what is expected of the session and how it has to be done. We have started the session then and I have added my pool of ideas to their ideas so that they could build ideas from it.
The session lasted for 20 minutes and we have produced 68 ideas in total (including my 30 ideas).
Ideas per minute = IPM = 1.9
Ideas per person per minute = 0.475
Sorting and voting:
After the brainstorming session was done, we have then tried to sort the ideas into various categories. It was basically placing all the ideas that were similar under a separate category. All five of us participated in sorting the ideas into categories.
- Space savers
The following are the top 10 ideas that I have shortlisted.