First diverge and generate as many idea as you can, then converge around solid concepts.

applied for



Service Staff






also called

Idea generation

what is it

Brainstorming is a common technique used to generate ideas. The brainstorming is often organized by first allowing each participant to collect their own thoughts individually, then start sharing and building one on top of each other idea, in order to get to a broad set of possibilities (divergent moment). In the final part of the brainstorming, the goal is usually to cluster, analyse and prioritise the different items in order to identify the most promising solutions or directions, and define next steps (convergent moment).

use it to

Explore a wide range of ideas and solutions without feeling limited by possible constraints.

remember to

Stay open: there’s not a right or wrong ideas, everything could have potential.

case studies


feature image of 'Rethinking what is possible... in a Winnebago' case study

Example by Standford

Rethinking what is possible... in a Winnebago

How a team can use brainstorming to push beyond what is comfortable


The Golden Gate Regional Center (GGRC) provides services and financial support to people with developmental disabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area. But for parents of children with disabilities, navigating the long and bureaucratic process required to get such services often challenges their patience and persistence. The team used brainstorming to come up with ideas about how to improve the service. They facilitated brainstorming sessions with the GGRC leaders and staff, and asked them to create a list of ideas. Even “absurd” ideas were encouraged, and a simple joke about driving in a Winnebago to bring GGRC services to where clients live became a reality. They reached potential clients in their own neighbourhoods and assessed each family’s needs and decide if they qualified for assistance right then and there.

what is interesting

The experiment was not about the idea itself but about pushing beyond what was comfortable, experimenting, and discovering what to try next. Brainstorming encouraged the team to see the same old thing in a different way, and find solutions to obstacles that once seemed unsolvable. GGRC is now brainstorming improvement ideas and since then, several new prototypes have been launched or will be soon.

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