I realize now that I watched a lot of animated shows in my youth that encouraged brainstorming. Whether it was Jimmy Neutron and his “Brain Blasts,” Raven and her visions or the Otter siblings and their “Noodle Dance,” I was learning from a young age to think and question and prod to get good ideas.
But, according to Tom Kelley’s Art of Innovation, I have been doing it all wrong. Kelley gave 7 secrets to brainstorming that are as follows:
- Sharpen the focus: This is necessary for our group project. We have to make sure our problem statement is specific enough or else we won’t be able to think up good solutions.
- Playful rules: I have to throw aside my good vs. bad mentality and let all the wild ideas fly. The rules are not really rules as much as allowances.
- Number your ideas: This helps visually reinforce that you need to go for quantity to brainstorm efficient. I know I like numbering things so I don’t have to go back and count as much.
- Build and jump: You have to be able to elaborate on what is being thrown out and see where it takes your mind. I am someone whose attention can change during a conversation so many times that I don’t know how I got from teachers to shoes.
- Space remembers: I’ve been told to study in a space similar to where I will be taking my test so many times because it will help my brain retain information. Same concept for ideas. Your brain will associate them with the space they were created.
- Stretch your mental muscles: Just like you shouldn’t go into a workout tight, you can’t expect for you to brainstorm well without a warm up. It makes sense that we start all of our creativity classes with different brain break games that involve movement.
- Get physical: Even if your ideas aren’t going to be movement-based, drawing-based, etc. in practice, doing those kinds of things will help you brainstorm more effectively. It pushes to think about solutions in foreign ways.
This reading gave me a list, which is one of my favorite ways of handling information and provided plenty of information to keep me attacking brainstorming for our project effectively.