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History of brainstorming

Brainstorming is a success story. It is one of the most widely used methods when it comes to creativity and innovation. Almost every one of us has participated in a brainstorming session. The word itself is known all over the world. Whether German, Spanish, Arabic, Turkish - in all languages the creation of unlimited ideas in a team is just called brainstorming. But how did this happen?

The idea goes back to the American Alex Osborn. He was founder and CEO of marketing firm BBDO. During his time there, he observed that the atmosphere in meetings did not allow for the development of creative solutions. Over time he developed basic rules for a creative meeting. In his book “Applied Imagination” he first introduced a method for creativity.

The term “brainstorming” was only indirectly created by Osborn himself. He called brainstorming “to think up”. But in his book he described the method also as “using the brain to storm a creative problem”. From there it was only a small step to the term “brainstorming”.

With this name, Osborn's method has taken the world by storm. Besides some criticism, there are numerous examples, where brainstorming has produced innovative ideas. IDEO, the world's leading innovation consulting and one of the driving forces behind the innovation method “design thinking” uses the method to foster their corporate culture. In some meeting rooms, the rules are written directly onto the walls. But brainstorming is not limited to experts. Every day, millions of people come together to create new ideas using this method. On Twitter alone, every minute someone tells the world, he is brainstorming right now.