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Whether you live for coming up with innovative, new ideas, or feel intimidated by the brainstorming process, it’s always beneficial to improve your idea generation process.

For many, the best ideas strike when we least expect them, which makes the brainstorming process incredibly challenging. Those that can come up with great ideas on command are invaluable in the workplace, so it’s well worth the effort to improve your brainstorming abilities.

For most people, developing fresh, new ideas is consistently a challenge. Since inspiration strikes when we least expect it when we need to come up with an idea on the spot we often find ourselves coming up short.

Brainstorming is difficult for several different reasons.

These reasons include factors like groupthink, lack of preparation, and poor office culture.

The freeloader effect is also pervasive at many offices and keeps people from actively participating in brainstorming conversations.

Despite these types of hurdles, if you learn brainstorming best practices you’ll be well prepared to come up with interesting and unique ideas as needed.

Counteract common brainstorming pitfalls by implementing the four pillars of brainstorming.  The four pillars of brainstorming ideas were developed by Alex F. Osborn, an advertiser who coined the term “brainstorm” in the 1940s.

He suggests going for quality, withholding criticism, welcoming wild ideas, and combining and improving ideas to create a brainstorming environment that all types of employees will excel in.

Osborn suggests going for quantity during brainstorms, which means striving to come up with as many ideas as you can during a brainstorming session. To increase the number of ideas you’re able to come up with during a session, consider spending some time alone beforehand to prepare.

During a brainstorm, it’s wise to keep negative feedback to yourself for the duration of the session. Don’t be afraid to entertain ideas that may even seem crazy initially!

As Osborn says, “It’s easier to tone down a wild idea than to think up a new one.” After the session has ended, feel free to look for ways to improve the ideas that were generated. By combining ideas contributed by individuals, you’ll be able to come up with a great concept.

Fundera developed an infographic full of brainstorming tips and tricks. Use the four pillars of brainstorming as your guide to come up with great ideas whenever you need to. Read on for brainstorming inspiration.

Digging Deeper (Infographic)

Written By
Meredith is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera . Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.

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