Brainstorming NABC




Definition of brainstorming

  1. :  a group problem-solving technique that involves the spontaneous contribution of ideas from all members of the group; also :  the mulling over of ideas by one or more individuals in an attempt to devise or find a solution to a problem



The fact that the method was originally devised for business purposes should not present a problem with regard to its application in a  non-commercial context such as, for example,  local district planning.

NABC is a method which helps present ideas in an easily accessible and captivating way but, most importantly, it helps develop and assess them. Compared to so many other methods, the fact that it can be used in all phases of a development process makes NABC especially effective. In order to draw the utmost advantage, it is crucial for both the idea-makers and for the users to use NABC throughout all the stages of development, namely, from when an idea is conceived to its final presentation as a full-fledged concept. One can supplement NABC with other methods if required.

Using NABC to introduce one’s idea is called ‘to pitch.’ To pitch means to try and sell, so to speak, an idea in a precise and concise way. It is important to have a thorough knowledge of the value proposition. It is preferable, however, to elaborate or go into depth only when answering questions, while the presentation itself should always remain short and concise. It is part of the method itself to generate relevant and specific questions. The development process can take place in many different ways. The following are some suggestions on how to use the various techniques.

NABC is unique in that user need is always its basis, and the point through which an idea’s ability to create value is increased. Value is created through the model’s four phases.

N – Needs – Relates to user need as the foundation of a development process.

A – Approach – Relates to the idea/approach that will address the user need.

B – Benefits – Relates to the advantage that the user has by making use of your solution.

C- Competition – Refers to competitors and the resistance that your solution will meet along the way.


Example of NABC as process model during a 1-day course in Audio-Visual Communication, HUM, UCPH

Example of NABC as process model during a 2-day course in Cultural Policy, HUM, UCPH

Example of NABC as a 10-week course model, Theatre Sociology, HUM, UCPH


Definition of Brainstorming

VM Measures, 2013, Six Creative Ways To Brainstorm Ideas,

Niels Christian, The NABC Method from Stanford Research Institute, SRI ,2012, – – –

Innovation and Entrepreneurship in education, NABC,

Stanford Research Institute, SRICarlson & Wilmot (2006): Innovation – The five disciplines for creating what customers want.

Sheffield Doc/Fest, 2012, NABC: How to develop an idea,


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