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Brainstorming and mindmapping



Brainstorming is a method of generating ideas and sharing knowledge to solve a particular problem. The method is very fruitful when diverse learners get together and bring their various ways of thinking into the thinking and decision making process. Digital tools for brainstorming are readily available in the internet.

“Brainstorming may seem to lack constraints, but everyone must observe eight house rules and have someone acting as facilitator.

Set a time limit – Depending on the problem’s complexity, 15–60 minutes is normal.

Begin with a target problem/brief – Members should approach this sharply defined question, plan or goal and stay on topic.

Refrain from judgment/criticism – No-one should be negative (including via body language) about any idea.

Encourage weird and wacky ideas – Further to the ban on killer phrases like “too expensive”, keep the floodgates open so everyone feels free to blurt out ideas (provided they’re on topic).

Aim for quantity – Remember, “quantity breeds quality”. The sifting-and-sorting process comes later.

Build on others’ ideas – It’s a process of association where members expand on others’ notions and reach new insights, allowing these ideas to trigger their own. Say “and”—rather than discourage with “but”—to get ideas closer to the problem.

Stay visual –Mindmaps, diagrams and post-Its help bring ideas to life and help others see things in different ways.

Allow one conversation at a time – To arrive at concrete results, it’s essential to keep on track this way and show respect for everyone’s ideas.” (Interaction design foundation)