Competency group: Business

Type: Process

Description: Brainstorming is a technique whereby a group tries to find a solution to a specific problem by gathering a list of ideas spontaneously from its members. Since it's inception there are four general rules of brainstorming which were established with the intention of reducing inhibitions among group members, stimulate idea generation and increase overall creativity. These rules are 1. Focus on quality, 2. Withhold criticism, 3. Welcome unusual ideas, 4. Combine and improve ideas. When applied together these techniques can lead to much higher productivity within a creative group within a given time frame

Citation for DescriptionBrainstorming. (2011). Retrieved from Wikipedia,

Units: Ideas for progression

Advantages: Easy to understand and inexpensive. If controlled properly, it is a quick way of generating ideas and solutions that can be used elsewhere. Creative, "out of the box" thinking is encouraged. Provides an opportunity for widespread participation and involvement.

Limitations: Can be too time consuming if the group is not properly controlled and is allowed to run for too long. The group may have unrealistic expectations that the idea discussed may come to fruition, when in reality it may never be implemented.

Target Audience: Top management, Marketing, R&D

Relevant to Universal Design: Yes

Stages and Steps: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3

Free Resource: Mind Tools. (2012). Brainstorming: Generating many radical, creative ideas. Retrieved from

Free Resource: Forensic Science Technicians. (2012). 100 online brainstorming tools to help you think outside the box. Retrieved by