Brainstorming: The Need for Professionalization of Facilitators and Participants.
Brainstorming is an old and widely used process designed to help organizations generate ideas. It has not changed much since its introduction in 1953, and the general consensus today is that, more often than not, it does not produce satisfactory results. This paper examines why that is so and what can be done to improve the brainstorming process. The authors believe that the recommendations put forward here represent a significant modification, not only to the brainstorming process but to the way organizations need to approach and organize their brainstorming sessions. The paper challenges long standing practices and assumptions regarding brainstorming. The authors conclude, after conducting their own primary research with brainstorming participant groups, that two of the four guidelines which creator Alex Osborn originally specified are beyond the expertise of most brainstorming group participants and require specific training. The lack of this pre-training of participants is why most ideation sessions fail, though professionalisation of facilitation is also likely to improve brainstorming outcomes.