Goals for this section Our goal this section – Recap the important aspects of brainstorming – Examine some other idea generation techniques
Key Points Brainstorming is the most commonly used method for idea generation – Also the most commonly abused Other idea generation tools exist and are useful in specific situations – Brainwriting, analogies, bugs-me, guaranteed failure, mind mapping Use the appropriate tool for the need and the setting
Follow up One other aspect of a successful brainstorm is the follow up or actions after the brainstorm is complete – Who takes ownership of the ideas – How are they prioritized – What are the clearly defined next actions Without this follow up, ideation becomes an interesting exercise with no tangible results
Risks/Challenges Poor facilitation and planning – Leads to little accomplishment and frustration Dominant personalities – Most participants aren’t able to contribute Pressure to generate ideas in the session – Some individuals place too much pressure on themselves to generate ideas in a short session Perceptions and expectations – Too much judging and critique limits idea generation
Discussion Any other points of discussion on brainstorming?
Brainwriting Brainwriting is a technique similar to brainstorming Less interactive but often more insightful Ensures that one or two people don’t dominate the discussion Participants write down five ideas, then pass the paper to the next person in line That person reviews and builds on existing ideas and adds new ones
Why Brainwriting Still leverages the group but eliminates dominant personality issues Generates more ideas in less time Gets ideas on paper that might not have been submitted
Your Thoughts What did you like or dislike about the two approaches? When is one approach more practical than the other?
Other Ideation Tools Now we’ll shift from well-known ideation tools to tools and methods that are practical but used less frequently. Many of these can be used in a group dynamic or by one individual
Bugs-me Journal Bugs-me is great for identifiable problems you encounter on a regular basis The approach can be used individually or in a group setting When a problem or challenge “bugs you” write down the problem and five to ten ideas to resolve Keep a journal to track what “bugs you” about things you encounter
Guaranteed Failure Excellent in a group setting, especially when the team is having a hard time getting started Rather than seek optimal solutions for a challenge or opportunity, ask what we should do to guarantee failure. Example – if we wanted to secure cash in a bank, some ways to guarantee failure would include: – Eliminate auditing – Store bundles of cash in the lobby – Take out all security measures (cameras, guards, etc)
Guaranteed Failure Generate a list of items that would guarantee the failure of your objective without trying to resolve the failures Then return to the list and seek solutions for the success of the objective against every possible failure This can be hard to do beyond two or three failure points because the urge is to solve the problems
Mind-Mapping Mind Mapping grows out of the concept of semantic information maps These concepts were first described during the 1960s Mind mapping has become a very popular method for generating and organizing ideas Usually a tool used by an individual but can be used by a team
Techniques Mind maps can be very structured in a tree/branch format or very loosely structured You can use a very hierarchical model or use pictures to tell a story or define the narrative
Benefits Depending on the developer, a mind map can be non-structured, non-hierarchical or very structured and very hierarchical Interactive and visual Demonstrates organization or relationships Effective at an individual level and to a certain degree at a group level
Analogies Analogies or shifting perspectives is another great way to generate ideas Less an ideation technique and more frequently used as a discussion topic or workshop procedure Example: The underbanked opportunity in the banking community is similar to the underinsured issue in health care. How is the insurance industry thinking about that issue and what analogies can we draw?
Analogies / Perspectives How would we view this problem or opportunity if we were: – A startup firm with no capital – A firm in a different industry seeking entry into this market / opportunity – The leader in the market – A struggling third or fourth tier competitor
Other tools/techniques Tools based on research from Altschuller and others – Systematic Inventive Thinking (SIT) – TRIZ These tools are based on the concept that all innovation share some common elements
Keep an innovation journal We recommend that any innovation advocate or innovation team member keep an active journal of their ideas Write down the ideas that come to you at work, at home Use the camera in your cell phone to capture situations, issues or challenges
Key Takeaways Good idea generation is based on careful preparation, good facilitation and clear goals and expected outcomes There are a number of techniques that can be applied, for live sessions and distributed sessions, group or individual work Our goal is not to make you an expert but to demonstrate some of the tools and provide best practices
More Reading A Whack on the Side of the Head by Roger von Oech Group Genius by Keith Sawyer Think Better by Tim Hurson
Prep for Next Class Read the white paper Innovate on Purpose Read articles on innovation process, methods and roles/responsibilities