1. Defer judgment
Creative spaces don't judge. They let the ideas flow, so that people can build on eachother and foster great ideas. You never know where a good idea is going to come from, the key is make everyone feel like they can say the idea on their mind and allow others to build on it. On OpenIDEO, we've made this literally into a Build On This button. Click on it to start your own idea, building on someone elses.
This still means we pose questions and provocations so that the ideas can get to a better place. Take a look at the comments section under each of the Concepts, where we see lots of builds and questions tackling different dimensions of the idea.
2. Encourage wild ideas
Wild ideas can often give rise to creative leaps. In thinking about ideas that are wacky or out there we tend to think about what we really want without the constraints of technology or materials. We can then take those magical possibilities and perhaps invent new technologies to deliver them.
We say embrace the most out-of-the-box notions and build build build...
3. Build on the ideas of others
Being positive and building on the ideas of others take some skill. In conversation, we try to use and instead of but...
On OpenIDEO, you can click the button that says Build on this and then say And... Or leave someone a comment with a new build.
4. Stay focused on the topic
We try to keep the discussion on target, otherwise you can diverge beyond the scope of what we're trying to design for.
5. One conversation at a time
Of course on OpenIDEO, there's lots of conversations happening at once, which is great! Always think about the challenge topic and how this could apply.
6. Be visual
In live brainstorms we use coloured markers to write on Post-its that are put on a wall. Nothing gets an idea across faster than drawing it. Doesn’t matter how terrible of a sketcher you are! It's all about the idea behind your sketch.
On OpenIDEO, we love seeing photos, sketches, found images for your ideas. You could also try your hand at sketching it out or mocking it up on the computer. We love visual ideas as the images make them memorable.
Does someone elses idea excite you? Maybe make them an image to go with their idea.
7. 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.
Our Concepting challenges usually run for 2-4 weeks. How do we keep up the pace and the momentum and get more quantity?
The Rules of Brainstorming