One of the most widely used creative problem solving processes was developed by Alex Osborn (father of Brainstorming) and Sidney Parnes.

It has been around for 50 years and has stood the test of time as a structured way of addressing problems.

The Osborn-Parnes model consists of five steps (J. D. Couger, 1995):

1. Problem definition or Opportunity Delination

2. Gathering relevant information

3. Generating Ideas

4. Idea Evaluation and prioritization

5. Implementation planning

This is similar to but different to our Ideas Blitz process which consists of:

1. Outline the Challenge (one per Blitz).

2. Start  i.e. every one working by themselves tries to create 9 ideas/solutions in 2 minutes.

3. Enhance  i.e. you build or each other’s initial ideas.

4. Connect — there is a deliberate attempt is made to connect smaller ideas into bigger concepts (either using logic or at random)

5. Action i.e. the group or Blitz leader develops a 9 point action plan.

Our approach places more emphasis on building and connecting ideas and the use of speed (i.e. to aid efficiency but most importantly to reduce internal filtering).

In both cases the emphasis is on moving towards or reaching an action or implementation plan rather than in Brainstorming which tends to be more about generating ideas only.

We have also found that providing a semi-structured approach (not a linear one) can make the creative process more accessible for individuals and groups.

I would encourage you to try and use both approaches and see which one works best for you and your team.

I suspect both have their plusses and can complement one another.

If you would like to try running a Blitz then download our app — it is free, quick and you can generate, enhance, evaluate and action ideas in 2 to 20 minutes.

Happy Blitzing.

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