Monday, November 16, 2015

Brainstorming Process

Months ago, I posted Time Management for Beginners. I was thinking it was time (no pun intended) to expand on that post. So, I employed a method I always use to decide what should be discussed. I used brainstorming.

Brainstorming is usually done in a group, but it can be done alone, too. I used the Ideation Station sheets from Levenger for this part of the process.


This is what mine looks like filled in.

What I realized with this brainstorming is that this series will end up in a Page heading labeled "Life Skills Coaching." It was my dream to be a teacher, which I was able to do briefly, but this is teaching in a different way. 

Using this form, I realized I had boiled it down to five categories: Time Management, Learning Styles, Project Management, Brainstorming, and Money. I used these categories to create storyboards with mind mapping, aka spider web brainstorming.

I used the Levenger Storyboard Circa Pages with each category on a separate sheet of paper.


Here is the front side of my brainstorming storyboard.

The Ideation Station is a form of Mind Mapping, as are the bottom two graphics in the storyboard above. Mind Mapping is also known as Spider Web Brainstorming. There are many different examples and templates at Google Images. The benefit of using the templates is visualizing links. 

Questions to ask:

  • Why are you brainstorming? 
  • Who is involved? Is it a troop, a group, a family, or an individual?
  • When will you do so?
  • Where will you do so?
  • What outcome are you looking for?
  • What supplies do you need for the brainstorming session? i.e. flip chart and markers 
  • Do not filter; it is a brain dump
  • Do not criticize or belittle others' ideas
  • Originator of idea can withdraw the idea on further reflection; the idea can be kept on the list if someone else wants it there
When the brainstorming is finished, similar ideas can be grouped. When a final list is generated, then a decision can be made.
  • Will ideas be voted on? Secret voting? Sticker voting? The method will depend on the group involved.
  • Can more than one idea be acted on?
  • Cost-benefit analysis: Does the project/trip/ etc. financial sense?
  • How will the outcome be implemented?

A Girl Scout troop is picking places to go on field trips or bigger trips using their cookie money for funding. 
  • Local amusement park
  • Children's museum
  • The moon
  • A weekend at a council campsite
  • Disney World
  • Lunch at a Japanese restaurant for Thinking Day
Which are feasible, and which are not?

  • Local amusement park
  • Children's museum
  • A weekend at a council campsite
  • Lunch at the Japanese restaurant
Not feasible:
  • The moon
  • Disney World
The not feasible trips would be crossed out, and the final decision will be made from what is left over.

I hope this coaching session helps you with decision making.