How to create big ideas that inspire

It’s both funny and unnerving when you take a moment to think about the term “brainstorming.” When brilliant minds come together to bring new ideas to life, it can feel like all eyes are on you to come up with the WOW factor. The “ah ha” idea that sparks intrigue, inspires allegiance and incites action. Brainstorming can be a messy pressure cooker, but it doesn’t have to be.
Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Here are five types of brainstorming to try on for size:

1. Storyboarding
To understand where you want to go, you must create a narrative that unravels from a specific point, concluding in your desired outcome. Everyone enjoys a well-told story. Storyboarding or visual storytelling is effective because it fits with a natural understanding of how things transition logically.

2. Word Banking
Word banking is an effective way to churn out concepts. It starts with a single idea that evolves into more word associations from a basic word or phrase chosen as a starting point. This ensures whatever collage of words and concepts you create, you’re confident they all related.

3. S.W.O.T. Analysis
From there, assess the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of your chosen idea or concept. The end picture shows a more informed idea of the concrete realities and potential futures that surround a certain concept.

4. Zero Draft
The Zero Draft is a liberal way of freewriting text to flesh out an idea and drive clarity around a vision. Focused writing aims to frame up the team’s initial ideas in alignment with an overarching theme. Writing down what you currently know about a concept and being honest about the gap helps chart the path forward.

5. Reverse Brainstorming
Reverse Brainstorming is often considered the devil’s advocate of all brainstorming methods. It challenges the comfort zone of a concept, solution, or plan. With a healthy amount of pessimism, you can make your plan more robust and prepared to face all possible challenges up ahead.


Parker Lee

Parker Lee is the managing partner of Territory, a design consultancy, who has developed and led teams in transformation, design thinking, and business development for decades. Co-author of The Art of Opportunity, he has created and facilitated dozens of design and visual thinking engagements.


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