Among the many different methods used to generate new product ideas, group brainstorming has been one of the most popular. However, brainstorming has fallen into disfavor with many practitioners and researchers on the basis of such factors as the necessity for a skilled group leader, the potential for conflicts among members which can disrupt the process, and the possibility of one or more members dominating the discussion. Brainwriting, which is the silent, written generation of ideas by a group, is proposed as an alternative to brainstorming. Six different group brainiwriting techniques are described and suggestions given for the most appropriate use of each. It is concluded that both brainwriting and brainstorming will be useful in different situations and should be viewed as supplemental rather than primary sources of new product ideas. Furthermore, it is noted that idea generation is only part of the process. The best ideas in the world will be of little value if they are not implemented successfully.
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