Thursday, March 23, 2006

:: creativity :: Brainstorming and brainfood

+ How to brainstorm from the TimesOnline, which is actually an excerpt from a book.
1. What's in a name? The term "brainstorming" was coined in the 1940s by Alex Osborn, an American advertising executive. Alternatives such as "thought showers" and "idea storming" have been used to avoid offending epilepsy sufferers. But a 2005 survey by the National Epilepsy Society found that 93 per cent of sufferers did not find the term "brainstorming" offensive.
Serious? That's kinda odd. I would never have guessed someone could see "brainstorming" as offensive. *shrug*
3. More, more, more. Quantity not quality is the key to better brainstorming because it increases the likelihood of useful ideas.

4. Anything goes. Encourage people to generate wild ideas rather than safe ones. "It's not necessarily having ideas that will be implementable instantly," Kitchin says. "A crazy idea might lead to a more sensible idea."

5. No criticism allowed. Junior members of staff are likely to feel more relaxed if they know that their suggestions will not be dismissed. The aim at this stage is to generate ideas, not to evaluate them.

6. Piggybacking allowed. Developing further ideas from people's suggestions, known as piggybacking, can be very productive. Ideas can be improved on or two ideas can be combined to create something new.

7. Change the scenery. Going somewhere different often helps to stimulate creativity. Some firms have brainstorming sessions outdoors or on an away day, others have them in someone else's office or home. As long as it's not where you spend the rest of your working day.

9. More than words. Use drawings, symbols, colour, cartoons. You could even have music and get staff to brainstorm without talking.
Some good advice there.

Now even more interesting, or different I guess, is SpaceForIdeas in the UK. Their website has lots of info on ideas and how to come up with them and nurture them like the delicate gossamer things they are. They even have a section on feeding your ideas and have recipes from chefs using "brain foods" as ingredients.

Apparently, there are a few groupings. Foods rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids: fish like mackerel, herrings, sardines, fresh tuna, trout, pilchards, salmon, anchovies, and enriched eggs (not sure what they are enriched with though). Foods rich in iron, are broken down into two types. Haem iron: Beef, liver, turkey, oysters, clams, mussels, and those sardines pop up again. Non-haem iron: Lentils, soybeans, spinach, dired apricots, seaweed, and enriched breakfast cereals. The last grouping they list are the slow-release carbohydrates (all you Creatives on Atkins better find something else!): Pasta, noodles, porridge oats, beans and pulses, nuts, dried fruit, and fruit and veggies.

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