Analyst WOD: Brainstorming

Research Question: How to awaken the creative spirit and tap into the well of ideas hidden within the complex, multi-dimensional levels of the analyst brain?

Hypothesis: Use of an analytic technique

Finding: Brainstorm to unleash creative prowess and generate new ideas! 

Definition: A creative conference for the sole purpose of producing a checklist of ideas – ideas which can serve as leads to problem solution – ideas which can subsequently be evaluated and further processed.

Background: The popular technique was developed by Alex Osborn, an advertising executive in the 1940s, to help his employees come up with new ideas for ad campaigns.  Conducted alone or in a group, brainstorming is a way to generate ideas and solutions to problems based upon divergent and/or convergent thinking.  Divergent thinking is the generation of lots of ideas without judgment and seeks out wild ideas.  Convergent thinking, on the other hand, is more targeted and deliberate and employs the use of judgment of ideas against objectives.

Next Step: Practice this technique next time you are asked to look for sources of information and intelligence during an investigation. 

For more information on brainstorming check out Mind Tools or the Creative Education Foundation.

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