Photo illustrating the process of brainstorming ideas
Got a good idea? Are you sure? Here's how to check

Change your life: Brainstorm

14 April, 2014

Definition of brainstorm: “A spontaneous group discussion to produce ideas and ways of solving problems” —New Oxford Dictionary of English

I love brainstorming! Let’s say you are facing a particular chal­lenge, or you have the seeds of an idea in your head or you want to generate lots of ideas and strategies.

Rather than sit­ting in splendid isolation with a pen and piece of paper, it can be infinitely more productive (and more enjoyable) to gather several friends and/or colleagues and brainstorm together.

” Man’s mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original shape.” — Oliver Wendell Holmes

Elect a note taker – or turn on a tape recorder so that no ideas or comments are lost. Ask people to think out of the box –and NEVER discard an idea, even if at first it seems totally impracticable.

Once you’ve got a list of ideas and suggestions, take each one in turn – even the most ‘off the wall’ ones – and ask these four questions:

  • What is the useful element in this idea?
  • What are the problematic aspects of this idea?
  • How can I get around the impractical elements of this idea?
  • What further ideas does this idea inspire?

The key point here is that even though an idea might seem fraught with difficulties, don’t discard it. It’s quite possible that –on closer examination – another workable idea can come from it.


  • Annabel Sutton is a Professional Certified Coach and Author.  She has lived in Los Angeles and Indonesia; survived earthquakes and riots, lived with head-hunters and enjoyed a portfolio career.  She now enjoys a somewhat quieter life in Somerset!  Her latest book, 52 Ways to Transform Your Life (Weekly Wisdom for Busy People), contains 52 inspiring, quick-to-read life tips and is available from . Find more information at