Effective Brain Storming

Brainstorming isn’t something about giving answers; instead, it focuses on gathering questions. Brainstorming leaves some questions like how people can learn from their own experiences rather than focus on others’ practices. Should we work on grassroots efforts in an organization or implement policies from the top management? The fresh questions which participants or employees ask to bring up a whole chapter of questions and ideas. Recasting your problems helps in adopting creative thinking. This approach can help you in any way; either you’re sitting alone pondering over something, or you’re discussing problems in a group.

Some steps in brainstorming can help you to generate different ideas and get helpful answers which as follows.

1: First of all, you need to identify the challenge which bothers you or the problem which is the main center point of your discussion. For this meaningful purpose, you need to invite some people to reflect on your situation with various aspects. It helps you in enhancing your knowledge along with the development of your mindset. During this discussion, you need to engage with those people who have a different perspective and whose cognitive abilities are different from yours. Before starting the conversation with people, make sure two things; first, to allow people to contribute to your question to suggest solutions or respond to others. Second, no-prejudgments during questions should be made because it would confuse the listeners.

2: Right after that, you need to brainstorm the questions by setting up a stop-watch for four minutes relevant to your problem. In some organizations, senior leaders avoid these questions because they feel reluctant towards these questions. After getting a sufficient quantity of questions, you should write down as many questions as you can. You can list down 15 questions within these four minutes, but these questions should be used to refine, reshape and solve against a challenge than creating too much hassle.

3: Identify those question(s) that have captivated your attention and which might resolve your problem. Selects those questions which make you feel to think in different ways, here you need to focus on the ‘five whys’ sequence formed by Toyota industry founder. You should ask yourself why this question seems essential. Why it pushes you towards a specific point? Why a question matter, and what hurdles are attached to it? Why didn’t I follow this approach in the past? Why do I feel a problem extending that trust? In the end, you’d come up with a reliable and worth time-spending question, and at this point, you’d move towards the inventive solution of this question.

To make this a habit, you need to perform a question-burst activity at-least three times centered upon a specific challenge. The more questions you’ll have, the more you’ll go deeper into things. It results in meaningful solutions, and it creates creative thinking against your challenges.

Doruk Sardag is a leader in Digital and Innovation at EY MENA. He has two bachelor's degrees in engineering, two master's degrees in Strategy and Finance.