The concept of brainstorming was created by Alex Osborn, one of the founding partners of advertising agency Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn (BBDO) in the 1950s. In explaining his idea Osborn came up with four rules for brainstorming:
- Don’t judge or criticise ideas.
- Be freewheeling. The wilder the idea, the better.
- Go for quantity. The more ideas you have, the better.
- Build on the ideas of fellow group members.
The practice became extremely successful within BBDO and word soon got out. Before long other creative organisations had adopted it and these days brainstorming is common practice around the world.
A Brainstorming Problem
Often people are brought into brainstorming sessions directly from their work. They don’t have a chance to change their mindset and get into a creative space detached from their day to day routine.
On other occasions brainstorming may be part of an away day or conference. It may take place the day after a 'social team bonding experience' in the hotel bar or after a full English breakfast the morning after.
Often the conditions are not the best ones for a creative ‘freewheeling’ brainstorming session.
How Team Building Activities Can Help
Even the most jaded delegates tell us that a session in the outdoors taking part in enjoyable and creative team building activities is refreshing. The challenges that we set in the Crystal Challenge, for example, take people away from their usual daily routines.
Most people do not deal with chemical spill rescues or find themselves having to build a bridge over a crocodile infested ravine on a day to day basis. The challenges require creativity and a 'freewheeling' approach.
Team building activities help people to detach and get into a new mindset of creativity and problem solving. They also encourage participants to collaborate and work with their colleagues, which fits perfectly with Alex Osborn’s last rule of brainstorming.
When you next need a creative brainstorm consider fitting in a couple of hours of creative team building before you begin. The results will astonish you!