The Brainstorming Techniques You Need To Know To Grow Your Business


Starbursting is a structured brainstorming technique with a focus on question generation. Starbursting is a structured form of brainstorming allowing product teams to cover all bases during the ideation process. It utilizes a series of questions to systematically work through various aspects of product development, forcing teams to evaluate ideas based on viability.

Appreciative Inquiry

Appreciate Inquiry (AI) is an organizational change methodology that focuses on strengths and not on weaknesses. Appreciate Inquiry was created by management professors David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva in the 1980s. The Appreciate Inquiry is also known as the 5-D Cycle, an iterative cycle describing five distinct phases, made of define, discover, dream, design, and destiny.

Round-robin Brainstorming

Round-robin brainstorming is a collective and iterative approach to brainstorming. Brainstorming is an effective way of generating fresh ideas for an organization. Round-robin brainstorming is a balanced approach, employing an iterative, circular process that builds on the previous contribution of each participant.

Constructive Controversy

Constructive controversy is a theory arguing that controversial discussions create a good starting point for understanding complex problems. A constructive controversy discussion is performed by following six steps: organize information and derive conclusions; presenting and advocating decisions; being challenged by opposing views; conceptual conflict and uncertainty; epistemic curiosity and perspective-taking; and reconceptualization, synthesis, and integration.

Affinity Grouping

Affinity grouping is a collaborative prioritization process where group participants brainstorm ideas and opportunities according to their similarities. Affinity grouping is a broad and versatile process based on simple but highly effective ideas. It helps teams generate and then organize teams according to their similarity or likeness.

The Fishbone Diagram

The Fishbone Diagram is a diagram-based technique used in brainstorming to identify potential causes for a problem, thus it is a visual representation of cause and effect. The problem or effect serves as the head of the fish. Possible causes of the problem are listed on the individual “bones” of the fish. This encourages problem-solving teams to consider a wide range of alternatives.


Rolestorming as a term was first mentioned by personal development guru Rick Griggs in the 1980s.  Rolestorming is a brainstorming technique where participants pretend they are other people when sharing their thoughts and ideas.

Reverse Brainstorming

Reverse brainstorming takes advantage of the natural human tendency to more easily see problems than solutions. What’s more, many individuals when placed in a traditional brainstorming environment will find it difficult to become creative on command. Reverse brainstorming is an approach where individuals brainstorm the various ways a plan could fail. 

Lotus Diagram

A lotus diagram is a creative tool for ideation and brainstorming. The diagram identifies the key concepts from a broad topic for simple analysis or prioritization.

Futures Wheel

The futures wheel was invented in 1971 by Jerome C. Glenn while he was studying at the Antioch Graduate School of Education.  The futures wheel is a brainstorming framework for visualizing the future consequences of a particular trend or event.

Key Highlights

  • Starbursting:
    • Starbursting is structured brainstorming focused on generating questions.
    • It systematically evaluates different aspects of product development by asking questions.
    • Aids in ideation and idea evaluation by considering viability.
  • Appreciative Inquiry:
    • Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is an organizational change methodology focusing on strengths.
    • Created by Cooperrider and Srivastva, it follows a 5-D Cycle: Define, Discover, Dream, Design, Destiny.
    • Emphasizes positive aspects and iterative phases of organizational development.
  • Round-robin Brainstorming:
    • Round-robin brainstorming involves participants iteratively building on each other’s ideas.
    • A balanced approach that encourages contributions from all participants.
  • Constructive Controversy:
    • Constructive controversy theory holds that controversial discussions aid understanding complex problems.
    • Involves steps like organizing information, presenting decisions, facing opposing views, and synthesis.
  • Affinity Grouping:
    • Affinity grouping prioritizes ideas and opportunities based on their similarities.
    • Collaborative process to generate and organize ideas by likeness.
  • Fishbone Diagram:
    • Fishbone Diagram visualizes cause and effect relationships in brainstorming.
    • Problem or effect is the “head” of the fish, and potential causes are listed on the “bones.”
  • Rolestorming:
    • Rolestorming involves participants adopting different personas to share thoughts and ideas.
    • Introduced by Rick Griggs, it encourages diverse thinking through role-play.
  • Reverse Brainstorming:
    • Reverse brainstorming focuses on identifying problems instead of solutions.
    • Participants brainstorm ways a plan could fail to spur creative problem-solving.
  • Lotus Diagram:
    • Lotus diagram is a creative tool for ideation and analysis.
    • It helps prioritize key concepts within a broad topic.
  • Futures Wheel:
    • Futures wheel visualizes future consequences of trends or events.
    • Invented by Jerome C. Glenn, it aids in exploring potential outcomes.

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