Six classmates meet in the college canteen to discuss their group project which is due in a month’s time. The group has been assigned to find ways of reducing energy consumption on campus. The suggestions will be judged on efficacy, pragmatism, cost and creativity. Veena decides to steer the discussion as it predictably meanders away from the topic to the latest Hindi flick.
Is this the best way to embark on a group project? The technique of brainstorming to generate as many ideas as possible was first proposed by Alex Osborn, an advertising professional, in the 1950s. He also laid out basic tenets while groups engaged in this process. People should first come up with as many ideas as they can without filtering them. Others could elaborate on recommendations. And, people should refrain from being critical in the initial stage