Brainstorming and the Advancemenst in Idea-Generation Methods

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In his 1993 article, “In Search of…Good Ideas,” Ron Zemke discusses the practice of brainstorming, particularly among quality teams. The foundation of Zemke’s article is Alex F. Osborn’s work from the 1930s which largely gave birth to the concept of brainstorming.
In Applied Imagination, Osborn’s 1957 best-selling book, the notion of “classic” brainstorming is explained with specific structure (Zemke, 1993). It includes five steps, four rules of conduct, and two core principles (Zemke, 1993). To begin, Osborn indicated that the brainstorming session should include five to twelve individuals, in addition to a trained facilitator (Zemke, 1993). The first step of the brainstorm is for the facilitator to prepare for the session by
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However, the findings were unclear (Zemke, 1993). Arthur B. VanGundy
Cast doubt on many of Osborn’s theories (Zemke, 1993). VanGundy noted that the personality of the participants may be more important than the process they follow, and that asking those participants to come up with “high-quality” ideas was just as effective as when judgment was deferred (Zemke, 1993, p.47). VanGundy also found that the maximum number of participants should be eight or nine, rather than up to twelve as Osborn had proposed (Zemke, 1993). At the time of his article, Zemke suggests that there are numerous alternative idea-generation tools and methods in addition to the traditional brainstorm. Among the alternatives, two general categories emerge: interactive techniques and parallel techniques (Zemke, 1993). The Trigger Method technique follows a process which allows participants to evaluate each person’s ideas individually, and then to evaluate and create a recommendation (Zemke, 1993). The SIL Method works to integrate all participants’ ideas into one solution by adding ideas to the solution through a continual “add-an-idea” cycle (Zemke, 1993, p. 48). The process ends with one integrated idea (Zemke, 1993). The last of the interactive methods discussed is the Wildest Idea. Similar to classic brainstorming, Wildest Idea allows the facilitator to interrupt a group who may be in a rut, and suggest a crazy or impractical idea (Zemke, 1993). This allows

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