Over the course of your innovation project you should brainstorm opportunities not only with your design team, but also with partners and the people you are designing for.
Brainstorms work best when the group is positive, optimistic and focused on generating as many ideas as possible. The last thing you want in a Brainstorm is someone who, instead of coming up with ideas, only talks about why the ones already mentioned will not work. Not only does that kill creativity, but it shifts the group’s mind-set from a generative one to a critical one. The only way to get to good ideas is to have lots to choose from.
Brainstorm around a specific opportunity and select the best idea.
Conduct Co-Create sessions, seek feedback and evaluate ideas for selection.
🗝️ THE 7 BRAINSTORM RULES
These are specifics on what makes for a fruitful brainstorm, but remember the best policy is to promote openness, get lots of ideas, and look for creativity over immediate feasibility.
You never know where a good idea is going to come from. The key is to make everyone feel like they can say the idea on their mind and allow others to build on it.
ENCOURAGE WILD IDEAS
Wild ideas can often give rise to creative leaps. When devising ideas that are wacky or out there, we tend to imagine what we want without the constraints of technology or materials.
BUILD ON THE IDEAS OF OTHERS
Being positive and building on the ideas of others take some skill. In conversation, we try to use “yes, and...” instead of “but.”
STAY FOCUSSED ON THE TOPIC
Try to keep the discussion on target, otherwise you may diverge beyond the scope of what you are trying to design for.
ONE CONVERSATION AT A TIME
Your team is far more likely to build on an idea and make a creative leap if everyone is paying full attention.
In Brainstorms we put our ideas on sticky-notes and then put them on the brainstorm board. Nothing gets an idea across faster than a sketch.
GO FOR QUANTITY
Aim for as many new ideas as possible. In a good session, up to 100 ideas are generated in 60 minutes. Crank the ideas out quickly and build on the best ones.
Review the Brainstorm Rules before you start.
Pose the question or prompt you want the group to answer. Even better if you write it down and put it at the top of the brainstorm board.
As each person has an idea, have them describe it to the group as they put their Post-it on the board.