The process of generating ideas. Also known as generating alternatives.
The term “brainstorming” was coined by Alex Osborn (the ‘O’ in advertising agency BBDO) in 1938 and described in his book Applied Imagination, this is the classic ideas generation technique, and it is one of the most effective methods when you need to get a large number of ideas from a group of people in a short time. The main drawback is that group dynamics and self-censorship often prevent group members from sharing their more imaginative ideas.


A list of methods for staying informed can be found in our Stage: Brainstorming section.

There is also a comprehensive Compendium Of Idea Generation Methods originally compiled by Martin Leith, passed on to Renee Callahan, and now curated by Idea Sandbox.