Ed Taekema - Road Warrior Collaboration 15.1.2005

January 2005
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A blog looking at business communication, knowledge management, scripting tools, OS technology news and other things of interest to mobile tech workers. As I find interesting news this will also contain pointers to thoughts related to configuration managment, change management and general software development.

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How to run a brainstorming meeting

I have been looking for a great summary of brainstorming meeting techniques and facilitation tricks for a while.  Here is a good one.  I really like the tricks outlined to get the most creativity out of the session:

  • What is the opposite of what we want? Get the group to describe, in detail, the opposite of what you want to have happen. What is the worst web navigation design possible? This never fails to get people to smile, and dig in. It is just so much fun to work the other way for once.
  • Random theme generators: (This works only for design related brainstorming) Before the meeting, make a big list of adjectives, colors, verbs, and attributes that might or might not apply to the project (20 or 30 of each). Write them on index cards, but keep them in stacks. Shuffle each stack. Then pick one from each, and try to design something for it.
  • Rotate: Anyone, at any time, can call out rotate and everyone in the room has to get up from where they are sitting, and move to the chair to their left. I have no evidence to prove it, but I am convinced moving around physically helps people to move around mentally.
  • Roadblock removal: Eliminate assumed constraints. Tell the group there is no limit on costs, or time, or other resources. They can think as big or expensive as their minds allow. Think of other constraints that the group is assuming.
  • Roadblock introduction: Come up with some ridiculous new constraint to the problem. The goal is not to make it harder, just to force peoples creative muscles to work differently.
posted at 01:28:16    #
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