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1Brainstorming Innovation Workshop Brainstorming Jonathan Weaver & Darrell Kleinke UDM Mechanical Engineering.

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1 1Brainstorming Innovation Workshop Brainstorming Jonathan Weaver & Darrell Kleinke UDM Mechanical Engineering

2 2Brainstorming References Otto, Kevin and Wood, Kristin: Product Design – Techniques in Reverse Engineering and New Product Development. Prentice Hall, Dieter, George E.: Engineering Design – A Materials and Processing Approach. Third Edition. McGraw-Hill, Ullman, David G.: The Mechanical Design Process. Second Edition. McGraw-Hill, Wright, Ian: Design Methods in Engineering and Product Design. McGraw-Hill, Dave Verduyn guest lectures at UDM.

3 3Brainstorming What is Brainstorming Brainstorm: Sudden disturbance of the mind; sudden inspiration. Brainstorming is an intuitive method of working as a team to generate concepts where team members communicate ideas verbally and with quick sketches All team members are encouraged to be open and uninhibited Goal is to comprehensively explore a breadth of solutions ideally leaving no promising directions unexplored Team members build upon each others’ ideas

4 4Brainstorming Advantages of Brainstorming A set of individuals can collectively build on each other to generate ideas that would not arise individually Each member of the group contributes ideas from his or her own viewpoint Good team builder/morale booster It’s a great tool to start developing concepts (just don’t make it the only tool used!)

5 5Brainstorming Disadvantages of Brainstorming The “right idea” may not come at the “right time” Group conventions may sidetrack or inhibit original ideas (Best to have each individual generate ideas beforehand) The team may be distracted by a misdirected focus Certain team members may dominate the discussion Other than encouraging “out of the box” thinking, there is very little direction to actively stimulate new ideas (we’ll cover some tools for systematic innovation to address this)

6 6Brainstorming Brainstorming Process Form a group with 5 to 15 people (too few gives inadequate ideas, too many can break down the group into multiple conversations or inhibit participation) Designate a group leader/facilitator who will solely direct and record Introduce the problem, then brainstorm ideas; wrap up when stagnation is reached (30-45 minutes) Record all the ideas generated

7 7Brainstorming Brainstorming Principles 1.No criticism 2.Focus on quantity (not quality) 3.Unusual ideas are welcomed 4.Combine and improve ideas “Brainstorming” is a DIVERGENT technique, later on, “screening” is used as a CONVERGENT technique. Brainstorming ≠ Screening

8 8Brainstorming Brainstorming Guidelines Provide a suitable working environment Avoid hierarchically structured groups Don’t confine the group to experts in the area Carefully define the problem beforehand (or at the start) and allow time for individual thought Do not allow the evaluation of ideas Think wild and encourage humor Practice applying brainstorming on real, but non-critical problems to get good at it for the critical problems

9 9Brainstorming Brainstorming Guidelines Avoid Idea-Killer Phrases That’s a good idea, BUT.... (insert idea-killer here) The Boss will never go for that. That’s a good idea, “in theory”. That’s not how it’s done around here. If your idea is so good, why hasn’t it been done before? Let’s form a committee.

10 10Brainstorming Walt Disney’s Imagineers Brainstorming Rules Rule 1 - There is no such thing as a bad idea. We never know how one idea (however far-fetched) might lead into another one that is exactly right. Rule 2 - We don’t talk yet about why not. There will be plenty of time for realities later, so we don’t want them to get in the way of good ideas now. Rule 3 - Nothing should stifle the flow of ideas. Not buts or cant’s or other “stopping” words. We want to hear words like “and,” “or,” and “what if?” Rule 4 - There is no such thing as a bad idea. (We take that one very seriously.) Source:

11 11Brainstorming Exercise – Evaluate These Brainstorming Assignments What’s wrong with these assignments? Use brainstorming to: 1.determine the best mini-van on the market. 2.suggest alternative genes for circadian rhythm. 3.propose improvements to Dr. Weaver’s garage. 4.decide which shop floor suggestions we’ll use. 5.come up with ideas on your own. End of Brainstorming Slides Use Benchmarking Need Expertise Lack of Data Use Pugh Duhhhhhhh

12 12Brainstorming 23 Reasons Why Nothing Happens After a Brainstorming Session Source: The Heart of Innovation, December 4, The output of the session is underwhelming. 2.No one has taken the time, pre-brainstorm, to consider follow-up. 3.No criteria is established to evaluate the output. 4.No next steps are established at the end of the session. 5.No champions (i.e. process owners) are identified. 6.The champions are not really committed. 7.The champions are committed, but under-estimate the effort. 8.The ideas are too threatening to key stakeholders. 9.No one is accountable for results. 10.The project leader doesn't stay in contact with key players and "out of sight, out of mind" takes over. 11.The "steering committee" takes their hands off the wheel. 12.The next brainstorming session is scheduled too quickly.

13 13Brainstorming 23 Reasons Why Nothing Happens After a Brainstorming Session (Cont.) Source: The Heart of Innovation, December 4, The output of the session is not documented. 14.No sponsors are on board. 15. Participants' managers are not supportive of the effort 16. It takes too long to document the output of the session. 17. The output is not distributed to stakeholders in a timely way. 18. Participants and stakeholders do not read the output. 19. Bureaucracy and company politics rule the day. 20. Somebody, in the session, is disengaged and sabotages the effort. 21. Teamwork and collaboration is in short supply. 22. Small wins are not celebrated. People lose heart. 23. Participants perceive follow-up as "more work to do" instead of a great opportunity to really make a difference.

14 14Brainstorming "One thing to bear in mind about serendipity is that you have to be looking for something in order to find something else." Lawrence Block (1938- ) is an acclaimed contemporary American crime writer who was designated as a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in Most people only become aware of their surroundings when they are looking for something specific. But, by cultivating a sense of "huntfulness" all day, every day, you will not only find what you seek, but you will also discover all kinds of unexpected things that otherwise would have gone overlooked. This is one of the basic, yet most important attributes that distinguish successful, prolific innovators from the average person on the street. Ideaology’s Innovation Quote du Jour


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