19 STASHED IDEAS
3. Ask the experts only
For generating truly innovative ideas, deep expertise in a field can actually be a drawback. In a brainstorm, we’re looking for breadth. Cross-pollination from seemingly unrelated fields can lead to authentic breakthroughs.
4. Go off-site
By conducting off-site brainstorming sessions, you only reinforce the concept that great ideas only come on the beach or at high altitudes — not in the proximity of your daily work.
5. No silly stuff
Don't just invite ideas to result in something the firm can market. Wild ideas need to be welcome. Brainstorming should be fun.
6. Stretch your mental muscles
Brainstorming, like marathon running, should begin with warm-up exercises.
Brainstorming sessions can be occasions for show-and-tell. Participants bring examples of competitors’ products, objects that relate to the problem, or elegant solutions from other fields as springboards for ideas. Also, keep materials on hand — blocks, foam core, tubing — to build crude models of a concept.
1. Always be looking. (Notice the ground beneath your feet.)
2. Consider everything alive and animate.
3. Everything is interesting. Look closer.
4. Alter your course often.
5. Observe for long durations. (And short ones.)
6. Notice the stories around you.
7. Notice patterns. Make connections.
8. Document you findings (field notes) in variety of ways.
9. Incorporate indeterminacy.
10. Observe movement.
11. Create a personal dialogue with your environment. Talk to it.
12. Trace things back to their origins.
13. Use all of these senses on your investigations.
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