There are sure fire ways to brain storm effectively. First of all, the idea gathering phase. A pre-identified time is set aside for “free writing” (often 15 minutes) where ideas are allowed to flow on a blank sheet of paper. Alternatively speak out loud on the topic during the time allotted by stating the problem and start talking. Now with those raw materials in hand literally and figuratively, start to associate words that are related. As the effort goes on, get a big piece of paper and connect related groups of words together into mind maps. Now, sometimes it is worth it to go back and say “did we ask the right question?” That could be checked brainstorming on the question itself. Finally as answers emerge, it helps to literally sleep on it, and let your subconscious mind refine the answer. During this whole process, bring along a buddy who can definitely help.

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