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If a group is faced with a difficult and complex problem, you can use a brain-storming session to help solve it.

1. Choose a leader who is enthusiastic and able to stimulate the group.
2. Start with some warm-up exercises, e.g. ask the group to list all the uses for a common object such as a brick. You could run a competition to see who could suggest the most uses for a bucket if you were marooned on a desert island.
3. Make sure the group understands what is meant by brain¬storming. Ask them to 'free-wheel' to get as many ideas as possible, no matter how crazy they may seem. Tell them there must be no comment or criticism of ideas at this stage.
4. Select one or two members to write up all the ideas on a board so the whole group can see them as ideas flow.
5. Define the problem in simple terms. Probe for the real causes.
6. Set deadlines.
7. Ask for ideas - as many as possible. The greater the number, the greater the chance of coming up with a solution. Don't allow interruptions or negative comments. Take a break as soon as enthusiasm declines.
8. After the break examine each idea to see if it has a practical application. Try putting solutions into priority order.
9. Discuss and compare them. Look for ways to combine or improve ideas.
10. Decide on the best solution.
11. Plan how it can be put into practice and discuss implications.

Remember the words of Albert Einstein 'Imagination is more important than knowledge.'

Good luck

Gary Hadler
B.Ec, Dip.Ed, MBA
Principal ITS Tutorial School
www.tuition.com.hk

Author's Bio: 

Gary Hadler B.Ec, Dip.Ed, MBA Has had over 15 years experience in training in the Business and Management area. To read more articles from Gary please visit http://www.tuition.com.hk/articles.htm.