Random Word Brainstorming



When I was first exposed to this method, I was somewhat skeptical. The occasion was a brainstorming evening to generate new ideas for my book's title. As our group gathered, a hypnotherapist colleague of mine, suggested this innovative brainstorming approach.


With the topic identified beforehand, the process began with a member of the group being asked to open a dictionary to any page. He then randomly selected a common noun, which was written on a flip chart. Each person was asked for a single word that he or she associated with that noun. The group was then asked to suggest associations between each of these words and the topic, accelerated learning. The words flowed in amazing quantity. After repeating this process a few times, the result was a multitude of words with which we could now work. Most would not have surfaced with conventional brainstorming methods.


Why did this technique work so well?
It's really quite simple. In a typical brainstorming session, when members of a group are asked to come up with ideas or solutions to a problem, their minds access their memory banks and download what is already known about the issue. Introducing the random word method forces the mind to find a link between dissimilar things. Because of the gap between the random word and the topic, ideas may be quite unusual, or even off-the-wall. As the group members build on each other's ideas, they generate more creative solutions.


This method is fast and simple, and usually leads to ideas that are more creative than those generated from the classic brainstorming format.




















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