said 10 months, 1 week ago:
I’ve made Idea Management a bit of a profession. To date, I must have practiced over 70 different ideation techniques as a facilitator.
While there are many variations to “brainstorming”, technically, it’s better to call these variations Idea Generation Techniques as “Brainstorming” is a specific technique created by Alex Osbourne, who preferred brainstorming in groups. The use of the flipbiard is typical of an Osbourne style “Brainstorm”.
Osbourne’s technique came into a lot of criticism. Largely because his system was abused rather than used well. People would ask for a “brainstorm” only to delay acting on a solution. Generating an idea got “office politics mileage”, not implementing them.
Over the years there have been several other thought leaders, some of them credited with more than one genre of Idea Generation Technique.
Edward de Bono: Often called the father of Lateral Thinking, because he invented the word, de Bono’s thinking revolution started with the word Po. Yes, no or po opened up several possibilities. My favorite Po technique is Randoms. Take a dictionary and a problem. Open the dictionary at random, point to a word. That word will give you a possible answer to your problem. Generate as many solutions as you have time for by choosing different words at random! And a dictionary has a lot of words to choose from. Therefore a lot of possible solutions.
Edward de Bono gave the world another genre of Idea Generation Technique in Six Thinking Hats. There are more Idea Generation Techniques / variations that you can get from his website or his book Serious Creativity.
Roger von Oech: To me, his biggest contribution is the thought that any problem can have a Second Right Answer. Most of us look for the one right answer. He introduced the thought of finding at least two right answers to the same problem. Anyone who uses this technique is sure not to be disappointed as it basically generates a Plan B.
Roger von Oech is also the creator of The Creative Whack Pack.
Tony Buzan: The mastermind behind MindMaps.
Here are some lesser known creators of Idea Generation techniques that could be seen as very different genres.
Jean Houston : The author of The Mind and Body Temple she uses techniques like Yoga and Reiki to help people generate ideas. Her techniques can be used by individuals or by groups.
Sergei Bubka : The world knows him as the pole vaulter who broke his own world record 36 times. The method he used to break these world records is what I call the Sergei Bubka Ideation technique. Instead of seeing other pole vaulters as his competition, he viewed other world record breaking feats as his competition. He borrowed ideas from other world breaking feats and applied it to pole vaulting. So to apply the Sergei Bubka Technique, go outside your field of competence to see what created disruptions in other industries you are “benchmarking”. Then apply them to your own industry. This technique is also known as Benchmarking.
Adi Pocha : He invented a technique called Grumbling. Just get a set of current users of a product or service. Get them to grumble about it. At the opposite end of each grumble is a new idea!
You could say that this is a variation of Edward de Bono’s technique that he calls Opposites.
Hope this helps.
Let me know if you have any questions about applying these techniques.
Like learning to ride a bicycle, or cooking, these techniques are best learned by doing.