Brainstorming for solving any problem
A technique called brainstorming can be used to solve just about any problem, whether it is a relationship problem, a technical problem, a writing block, or anything else.
Brainstorming just means that a person or group of people sit down and write down as many solutions to a problem as they can think of. No one should take time to decide whether the solutions are good or not, just list as many possibilities as possible. Later go through the list and keep only the good ideas. It is amazing how many discoveries were made on things not related to the original problem were found by using this method, and how many good solutions to the original problem were uncovered.
Creativity is a must for brainstorming. Most people use creativity in their home life and jobs. Whether you are a writer, an engineer, QA, manager, business person or other, creativity is a must to be competitive in the world today.
So if creativity is so important, how do we strengthen our creative brain muscles? One way is to do brainstorming. Sit down and write out a list of all the possible, including silly, things a pencil can be used for. A team of three people came up with over 50 uses for the lowly pencil. Here are just some of the uses:
• To write with
• As a paperweight
• As a weapon (use it as a knife)
• Tent peg
• Fire kindling
• Chew toy
• Use pencils as Tinker Toys
For example, if you are dimensioning an engineering drawing and you can’t decide whether to use a Perpendicularity control or a Surface Profile, you can sit and write out all the possible outcomes you can think of for each.
If you are trying to solve the problem of ensuring that your teenage son comes home to dinner on time you can sit down and make a list of methods you can use. Of course it might help to talk to a person very knowledgeable about that sort of thing first.
In the book A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger VonOech, the author gives a hypothetical situation: Suppose you get a call from a company that accidently bought $1,000,000 too many ball bearings. The company asks you to think of some way to monetize the situation. Here are some possible uses of the ball bearings:
• Use them as level testers.
• Sew them into a canvas vest and use them as “weight clothing” for athletes.
• Make jewelry out of them: earrings, bracelets, and necklaces.
• Use them as confetti at a punk rock concert.
• Put them on the bottom of uneven curtains and use them as curtain weights.
• Serve them as robot caviar (when your “home robot” is having friends over).
The last idea is rather silly, but it’s brainstorming, right?