Essay by twillyUniversity, Master'sA+, August 2004

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When faced with a difficult situation there are several decision-making tools or techniques that one can employ, brainstorming is one of them. Brainstorming is a powerful technique that breaks through narrow thinking by tapping into ones creativity, calling on every viable, however random, solution imaginable. This helps generate radical ideas and can lead to remarkable results. In order to find the best solution it is important to consider many possible solutions.

Brainstorming involves quickly recording a broad list of ideas, which can then be expanded and evaluated. During a brainstorming session ideas should be generated as quickly as possible in order to develop the most creative and varied list of alternatives. As most problems are not easily solved by the first idea that comes to mind, brainstorming is an excellent way of developing many creative solutions to a single problem. Brainstorming works well individually or within a group but is increasingly more effective when a greater amount of people are involved.

This line of reasoning follows the idea that two heads are better than one. A couple ground rules must be considered when brainstorming: Define the problem or idea to be explored and make sure everyone is clear, let the leader have control, allow everyone to contribute and be heard, ensure that no one will insult, demean, or evaluate another participant or his/her response, state that no answer is wrong, record each answer unless it is a repeat, set a time limit and stop when time is up.

Brainstorming is an effective way to generate lots of ideas but there are certain situations in which such an overwhelming response is not appropriate. For example, when a quick decision must be made, there is not sufficient time to make effective use of this decision making tool. Also, certain decisions cannot be...