4.2.1 What is Brainstorming?

Brainstorming is a group creativity technique designed to generate a large number of ideas for the solution to a problem. The method was first popularised in the late 1930s by Alex Faickney Osborn, in a book called Applied Imagination. Osborn proposed that groups could double their creative output by using the method of brainstorming.1

The term Brainstorming has become a commonly used word in the English language as a generic term for creative thinking. The basis of Brainstorming is generating ideas in a group situation based on the principle of suspending judgment - a principle which scientific research has proved to be highly productive in individual effort as well as group effort. 

According to Osborn: 
Brainstorming is a method by which a group tries to find a solution for a specific problem by amassing a list of ideas spontaneously contributed by its members.3

Brainstorming is a lateral thinking process. It asks that people come up with ideas and thoughts that seem at first to be a bit shocking or crazy. You can then change and improve them into ideas that are useful, and often stunningly original.4


1 Osborn, A.F. (1963) Applied imagination: Principles and procedures of creative problem solving
2
http://www.mycoted.com/Brainstorming
3
Osborn, A.F. (1963) Applied imagination: Principles and procedures of creative problem solving
4
http://www.mindtools.com/brainstm.html