Types of Brainstorming Techniques for Managers

February 21, 2012 by  Filed under: Management 

With the intensified competition, economic troubles and organizational changes in today’s corporate setting, there is no doubt that problems have the great potential to affect organizational productivity. These are why managers and supervisors cannot just merely be overseers. They need the right problem solving and decision making skills to make them better leaders who can create ideas that will deliver the solutions needed.

Most professionals know that one of the more critical responsibilities of being a manager includes analyzing problems, especially identifying possible causes to pinpoint the origins and coming up with solutions to solve the situations that hinder productivity. Even newly-trained managers know that problem solving and decision making are activities that they will repeatedly do, even more so the higher up the organization they go.

Brainstorming is one of the few ways in which managers can identify possible causes of problems in the organization. This freewheeling and idea-gathering exercise allows everyone who is present to give his or her ideas on a given problem so that an origin can be pinpointed and a solution can be thought out. Here are three types of brainstorming techniques that managers could use:

  1. Structured. With this technique, everyone present for the exercise must give an idea as his or her turn arises. They can also opt to say pass if they truly do not have an idea to share to the group. Although this type of brainstorming encourages the quantity of ideas, if not properly facilitated it could hinder the participation of the members who do not like the rigid one by one process of sharing ideas.
  2. Unstructured. This technique also aims for the quantity of the ideas given but if not properly facilitated, it could hold back others who would like to share ideas but could not compete with others who are more outspoken in the group. With an unstructured type, any member of the group present in the brainstorming exercise can give ideas as they come to mind. Every idea will be valued subsequently but as stated earlier, if not facilitated effectively, not everyone will be able to join the process.
  3. Nominal Group Technique. With this brainstorming technique, all the members present for the exercise are asked to write down the ideas that they generate. Later on, a listing will be made of all the ideas submitted and similar ones are subsequently cancelled out. With this technique, soft spoken and members of the group who prefer writing down ideas are also able to share their ideas. However, if facilitated individually, hitching on other people’s ideas would not be possible.

To know more about Problem Solving and Decision Making click this link.

Guthrie-Jensen is the leading Management Training and Consultancy firm in the Philippines and one of the largest in Southeast Asia. The organization has also conducted various training programs and seminars in Asia (i.e. Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong), Europe, and North America.

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