decide whom to see. List the names of people and
organizations that are recognized authorities on the
problem. This is your opportunity to go "all
out" for the facts. After determining who can
help you, contact them, talk with them, and pick
their brains for all the information they possess
that can help you solve the problem.
doing this, be sure to make a note of each thing
that's germane to the problem. Don't risk forgetting
anything that could help you find the solution.
fifth step in solving a problem creatively is called
"Individual Ideation." This is personal
"brainstorming," or thinking with the
brakes of judgment off! Don't try to decide whether
an idea is good or bad — just write it down the
moment it comes to you. You can pick and choose —
rate you're after is a lot of ideas.
the four rules for brainstorming: (1) No negative
thinking; (2) The wilder the ideas, the better; (3)
A large number of ideas is essential; and (4)
Combination and improvement of ideas is what you're
idea often leads to another, better idea. Don't
worry if some of your ideas seem far-fetched or
impractical. You're looking for all the ideas you
can possibly find. Don't reject any — write them
Group Brainstorm. This is your opportunity to put
the minds of others to work on the problem. Handle
this session the same way you did your
"Individual Ideation." No negative
thinking, no criticism at this stage; the wilder the
ideas the better; get as many ideas as possible;
and, try for idea combination and improvement. Write
down all the ideas the group comes up with.
you have all your ideas written down, rate them for
effectiveness and facility. The effectiveness scale
ranges from "very effective" to
"probably effective" to
"doubtful." And the facility scale ranges
from "easy" to "not so easy" to
"difficult." The rating of ideas will
clearly indicate the likely success of any possible
solution. Of course, it's best to consider first the
idea or ideas that are rated both "very
effective" and "easy."
you're a manufacturer. And suppose your sales and
marketing team brainstorming comes up with some
ideas to increase sales. Let's say one of the ideas
is to revamp completely one of the products that
your company is offering to the public. Let's rate
this idea in terms of effectiveness. You know the
present product meets a need and is acceptable to
the buying public. What about an entirely changed
product? Without a lot of marketing tests and then a
period of actual manufacturing for sale, it would be
hard to say just how effective this idea would be in
increasing sales. Better rate it
how does this idea of completely revamping one of
the products check out in the facility area –
"easy," "not so easy," or
"difficult"? It would be
"difficult," wouldn't it? It would require
new engineering, new tools, new manufacturing plans,
new packaging, and new marketing methods.
however, that one of the salesperson's ideas is to
run TV advertisements for the company's product on
one of the major television networks. This would be
"probably effective" and would be
"not so easy," but it could be done.
say another idea is to set up a new sales incentive
program, a program directed to those people who are
at the front of the problem, the salespeople. If it
were a well-designed and -implemented incentive
program with predictable compensation for increased
performance, it would stand a good chance of being
"very effective." It would be relatively
"easy" to do. It should increase the
are many other evaluation yardsticks you might use.
Two more are time and money. Try rating your ideas
against these measurements. For example, in the case
of a manufacturer who wants to increase its sales,
certainly to change the product would take a great
deal of time and money. And to advertise it on a
popular network television program would cost a
great deal. On the other hand, to introduce a new
sales incentive program might be neither too costly
nor too time consuming.
when you evaluate your ideas, measure them against
these four yardsticks: effectiveness, facility,
time, and cost. Every idea you have may not be worth
creative action, and that's why you must skillfully
evaluate each of them. But once you've carefully
judged your ideas, take action.
your ideas into an "Action Plan": decide
who should do it, when it should be done, when to
start, and how to do it. These are all important
considerations because the execution of the solution
is just as important as the solution itself.
certain to give yourself a deadline for putting your
plan into action. We work hardest and most
efficiently when we know there is a definite time
element involved. So, make a note of the date when
you must put your solution to work. It's good to
remember that timing is often critical when a new
idea is introduced. Carefully calculate the deadline
in the light of the general situation. You might
write down a second date — the one by which you
intend to have the action completed and the problem
what was said earlier about problem solving,
decision making, and goal achievement? They have a
great deal in common. They can all be attacked in
much the same way.
any problem ... no matter how big or complex it may
be ... there is a solution. All you have to do is
find it! History is filled with people who believed
a problem did not have a solution and they did
not find it, and people who believed there was
a solution and they did find it — same
problem, different perspective, one successful and
one not. Which type of person will you be?
Source: Earl Nightingale's The Essence of
Success, Edited by Carson V. Conant.
* * * * *
steps for brainstorming your ideas:
- Define the problem.
- Write down everything
you know about the problem.
- Decide what people and
resources to bring into the solution.
- Make a note of
everything that is germane to the problem.
- Conduct a personal
brainstorming Individual Ideation.
- Utilize Group
Brainstorming and rate your ideas for
effectiveness, facility, time, and cost.
- Evaluate your ideas for
the best options.
- Create an "Action