Buddha Brainstorming

Buddha Brainstorming (BBs) Technique

Dr. Janetius (2007)

Brainstorming is best known  and widely used team-based creative technique used by social scientists and other professionals to generate new ideas and concepts. It helps the group generate visionary ideas. It helps us in creative parallel thinking.


To develop ideas, we need a strategy that addresses the identified problem. Buddha Brainstorming (BBs) is an innovative technique formulated by Dr. Janetius and successfully used for more than a decade in his practice. BBs helps us generate creative, innovative ideas and solutions. BBs technique is a fine blend of few commonly used western and eastern models like 'Kaleidoscope Brainstorming' of Dr KRS Murthy, funneling technique and other frameworks of idea generation.


It is named as Buddha Brainstorming because the author considers silence and reflection in the second step of the process as the core of the technique.

BBs consists of six stages or steps. Ideal group would be 7 – 10 people.


Step One: The facilitator explains the ground rules. The ground rules generally include requesting the participants to be serious, listen to what others say, follow the instructions of the facilitator religiously, focus on the topic, no talk when another person talks, time limits for each participant, etc… A note-taker is chosen from the group to document the ideas and discussions. The note-taker can be an active participant of the group.
The facilitator introduces the topic of discussion and invites the group members to introduce themselves to each other. This introduction is important, in the sense, it paves way for the idea generation. Therefore, members are requested to say something about themselves, their likes and dislikes, hobbies etc… 


Step Two: The facilitator invites the group for a few minutes of silence & reflection. This silent reflection is an important phase of BBs. The members are requested to close their eyes, keep silence and reflect their own idea as well as think, how other members in the group would think.


Step Three: After few minutes of silent reflection, the facilitator invites the group to write down the ides. Here, for example, if the total number of participants is 7, each member will write 7 ideas corresponding to the seven members (ie, their own idea and also imagine and write what other member would say) 


Step Four: The participants now hand over the written ideas to the notes-taker. The notes-taker together with the help of the facilitator, using some principles or frameworks to funnel or narrow downs the ideas from many to few (3 to 5)


Step Five: Once funneling is done and the topics or ideas are limited to 3 to 5, discussion is organized by the facilitator.  Each idea is read out by the note-taker and an open discussion similar to focus group is conducted and moderated by the facilitator. Each member is given specific time to voice their opinion.


Step Six: Once discussion is over, the group prioritizes the topic and chooses one or more final topics by consensus.


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