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Ideas for Using Creative Thinking Groups

Here are some tips for group problem solving. These ideas are useful for development organizations, government agencies, environmental activist groups, socially responsible business owners, and others.
 
1. Recruit 5 to 12 people who can meet at set times each month. It is important that the members be volunteers and that they represent a variety of occupational and educational backgrounds. 
 
2. Hold two meetings a month. One to define and discuss the problem and one to consider possible solutions to it. Do not combine the steps of generating and evaluating ideas! 
 
3. Make it a democratic group where nobody feels they are running the show. Don't put your regional director in charge of some low-level employees!
 
3. Set an idea quota for each group member. They may benefit from reading about creative thinking methods or from being instructed in one or two simple methods.  
 
4. Always conclude meeting number 2 by giving each group member a concrete action to take in implementing the group's idea(s).
 
5. Study group brainstorming methods. You can learn them in Michael Michalko's books Cracking Creativity and Thinkertoys.

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