10 Brainstorming Techniques to Unleash Your Inner Innovator
Are you looking for ways to jumpstart your creativity and become more innovative? Whether you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, or simply someone who wants to think outside the box, these brainstorming techniques will help get your ideas flowing.
If you’re like most people, you probably think that generating new ideas is something that only “creative types” can do. But the truth is, anyone can learn to be creative. And if you’re in business, it’s essential.
The ability to come up with new ideas is the lifeblood of any business. It’s what allows you to create new products and services, enter new markets, and solve problems in new ways.
So how do you generate new ideas?
One of the best methods is called “braindumping.”
The braindump technique is simple: just get all of your ideas down on paper, no matter how crazy or far-fetched they may seem. The goal is to get your creative juices flowing and to generate as many ideas as possible. Once you have a long list of ideas, you can start to narrow down and refine them.
Here’s how it works:
1. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and just write down everything that comes to mind.
2. Don’t filter or edit anything, just let the ideas flow.
3. Once the timer goes off, take a look at what you’ve written and see if any ideas stand out.
4. If not, set the timer again and repeat the process.
You might be surprised at how many good ideas you come up with using this method. And even if none of the ideas are “perfect,” you can often use them as a starting point for something even better. So next time you’re feeling stuck, give braindumping a try. It just might help you tap into your inner creativity and come up with the next big thing for your business.
2. Free Association
With free association, you start with a word or concept and then brainstorm all of the ideas that come to mind, no matter how random or unrelated they may seem. This technique can help you to make connections that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
3. Mind Mapping
Mind mapping is a visual way of brainstorming that can help you to see the connections between ideas. To create a mind map, start with a central idea in the middle of a piece of paper. Then, draw branches out from the central idea, and write down related ideas on each branch.
4. The 6-3-5 Method
The 6-3-5 method is a brainstorming technique that can help groups of people to generate ideas together. To use this method, you need a group of six people. Each person comes up with three ideas, and then the group votes on the best ideas. The five best ideas are then further refined.
Here is how to do it:
1. Gather a group of six people.
2. Each person comes up with three ideas.
3. The group votes on the best ideas.
4. The five best ideas are then further refined.
This method is effective because it forces people to come up with ideas quickly and then to evaluate them critically. It also allows for a lot of ideas to be generated in a short period of time.
5. The Round Robin Method
The round robin method is another brainstorming technique that is great for groups. To use this method, each person in the group takes turns sharing an idea. Then, the other members of the group build on that idea, adding their own thoughts and suggestions.
Here is an example of this could pan out.
John: "Let's come up with ideas for new cake recipes, why don't you start Hailie?"
Hailie: "Gotcha, I think we could do a chocolate cake with a raspberry filling. What do you think?"
John: "Ooh, that sounds delicious! What if we added a chocolate ganache frosting?"
Hailie: "Perfect! I think that would be a great innovation on the classic chocolate cake."
Peter: "I agree, that sounds delicious. And it would be easy to make too!"
This brainstorming technique is great for coming up with innovative ideas as a group. It allows each person to share their own thoughts and build on the ideas of others. This can help to create a more diverse range of ideas than if each person was brainstorming on their own.
6. Brainstorming with Constraints
If you’re having trouble coming up with ideas, sometimes it can help to set some constraints. For example, you could brainstorm ideas for a new product that is eco-friendly, or you could come up with ideas for a marketing campaign that has to be under $100. Setting constraints can actually help to spark your creativity.
Here are some classic examples of constraints:
1. Time: You have to come up with an idea in the next five minutes.
2. Budget: You can’t spend more than $100 on this project.
3. Materials: You can only use materials that are recycled.
4. Location: The event has to take place in a city with a population of under 50,000.
5. Target audience: The product has to appeal to teenagers.
6. Goal: The campaign has to increase brand awareness by at least 20%.
7. Format: The presentation has to be a video.
8. Medium: The article has to be under 1,000 words.
9. Platform: The website has to be compatible with mobile devices.
10. Restrictions: The app can’t use more than 10mb of data.
11. Challenges: The product has to be able to solve a problem that people are currently facing.
Next time, see if constraints like these could spark your creativity.
7. The SCAMPER Technique
The SCAMPER technique is a creativity tool that can help you to come up with new ideas by looking at things in a different way. SCAMPER was termed by Bob Eberle in 1971 and stands for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse. To use this technique, simply ask yourself these questions about an existing product or service:
• What can I substitute?
• What can I combine?
• What can I adapt?
• What can I modify?
• What can I put to another use?
• What can I eliminate?
• What can I reverse?
Asking yourself these questions can help you to come up with new and innovative ideas.
8. The Walt Disney Method
The Walt Disney method is a brainstorming technique that can help you to come up with ideas for stories or movies. To use this method, you start by coming up with the ending of the story or movie. Then, you work backwards and come up with the events that lead up to the ending.
Ending: The princess is saved and lives happily ever after.
Working backwards, you would come up with a series of events, such as:
The prince defeats the dragon and rescues the princess.
The prince and princess fall in love.
The prince sets out on a quest to save the princess.
The princess is kidnapped by a dragon.
The kingdom is in peril.
This is just a quick example, but you can see how this method can help you to come up with ideas for stories or movies. If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, try using the Walt Disney method.
9. The Reverse Brainstorming Technique
Reverse brainstorming is a technique that can help you to come up with solutions to problems. To use this technique, you start by brainstorming all of the possible problems that could occur. Then, you brainstorm solutions to those problems. This technique can help you to come up with creative solutions that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.
10. The Starburst Technique
The starburst technique is a brainstorming technique that can help you to come up with ideas for products or services. To use this technique, you start by brainstorming all of the features that you would like your product or service to have. Then, you brainstorm all of the benefits that your product or service would provide. This technique can help you to come up with creative ideas for products or services that meet the needs of your customers.
It is a very visual technique that can help you to see the potential of your product or service. It can also help you to come up with ideas for how to market your product or service. This technique can be used by individuals or by groups. If you are using this technique with a group, it is important to have a facilitator to help keep the discussion on track.
This technique is especially useful when you are trying to come up with new ideas for products or services. The reason it works is because it helps you to think about the needs of your customers and how your product or service can meet those needs. It also helps you to think about the benefits of your product or service. This can help you to come up with ideas that are both creative and practical.
If you want to learn more about the starburst technique, there are a number of resources that you can use. There are books, articles, and websites that can all provide you with more information on this brainstorming technique, for example this masterclass.
These are just a few of the many brainstorming techniques that you can use to unleash your inner innovator. By using these techniques, you can jumpstart your creativity and come up with new and innovative ideas.