Want to keep learning?

This content is taken from the National Chiao Tung University's online course, Using Creative Problem Solving. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds When it comes to being creative on one’s own, there is an element of fluidity since it is one mind, one point of view, and one set of hands doing the work. As soon as a group dynamic is introduced, there is an extra complexity to the creative process. Tools that help synergies and streamline the creative thoughts, ideals and actions of a group of people are valuable and most certainly needed. Brainstorming is generally accepted as one of the key tools for creative problem solving. It is widely recognized and often-used.

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 seconds The central principle is that a group of around 12 people, preferably both experts and novices in the field gather together either in person or via electronic communication methods to create a ‘storm’ of ideas.

Skip to 1 minute and 5 seconds There are some principles of doing brainstorming: The first one Go for quantity try to amass as many ideas in the time you have as a group. Freely rattle off ideas and worry later about which ones are feasible or valuable. The 2nd principle is Withhold criticism This is not the context for criticism, over-thinking or removing ideas from the table. Allow a free flow of ideas, and leave the criticism for later stages. The 3rd principle Welcome wild ideas Think out of the box! This free flow of ideas should create streams of creative thought that otherwise might be inaccessible to those analyzing their own ideas as they pop up.

Skip to 1 minute and 57 seconds Sometimes the ideas that seem crazy at first are ones that hold the most water later. Run wild and encourage the same in others. The 4th Principle is Combine and improve ideas perhaps the ‘perfect idea’ exists not in the mind of any one brainstorming participant, but in a cohesion of ideas created by multiple participants. Allow the ideas to flow, and when two or more seem to connect, run with that also, and see what ‘combination’ ideas may arise. The principle of brainstorming is all about freedom of expression, so ensure that all members feel comfortable with one another. You may also wish to allocate yourself in a creative space perhaps out of the office or library?

Skip to 2 minutes and 52 seconds to stimulate idea generation, and make sure the space is physically comfortable and the participants’ primary needs are adequately met. Now that you know the principles of brainstorming, we will soon have a chance to use it!


The principle of brainstorming is all about freedom of expression, so ensure that all members feel comfortable with one another. There are four other principles of doing brainstorming:

  1. Go for quantity

  2. Withhold criticism, non-judgemental

  3. Welcome wild ideas

  4. Combine and improve ideas

Share this video:

This video is from the free online course:

Using Creative Problem Solving

National Chiao Tung University