Negative brainstorming

Purpose

The purpose of this method is to ideate upon the overall problem and generate a lot of ideas to further develop. This brainstorming technique takes the participant through different stages that enhances the creativity. 

Accomodate participants who are not able to:

If the participants are blind or can not read, the template could be read out loud. It could be complex when turning negative ideas into positive but then one idea should be taken at a time.

 

If the participant can not control movements the method could be read out loud and instead of writing down ideas a helper, documenter or the facilitator could write down what is being said.

 

if the participant can not hold on to a pen the method could be read out loud.

 

If the participant can not write it could be said out loud.

 

If the participant can not speak sign language or other symbol language could be used.

 

A translator can be used for presentation, or a written explanation can be read by a fellow participant. If a translator is not present make sure all ideas have a written explanation. 

 

Depending on the ability being limited according to not being able to focus because of distractions or because of time crunch – either reduce time spent or increase the time spent for brainstorming.

If a participant feels excluded or not comfortable within the assigned group try to mix up the groups.

 

P

Input

A problem to explore
O

Output

Multiple ideas for how to accommodate the problem
s

Complexity

Moderate

Time

25-35 min

No. of participants

2-15

Activity required

Core abilities: - Think in a somewhat complex matter where ideas a flipped around - Reading/writing - Communicating with a partner

Step by Step

 

1 Divide the participants in pairs of 2 or 3 and hand out post-its, templates and pens (1 min). 5 Ask the groups to brainstorm individually on negative ideas for the negative problem statement. The ideas should be written/drawn on post-its. One post-it per idea (3 min).
2 Explain the method by showing an example that has a problem not related to the scope of the workshop. 6 Ask the participants to describe the negative ideas to the rest of the group (1 min per person).
3 Provide the participants with the overall problem and make sure they understand it (2 min). 7 In pairs: Each pair selects one bad idea (3 minutes) and considers the following:

  • What makes this a bad idea? Which elements make it bad? (1 minute)
  • Which elements make it a good idea? (Try to identify some good elements, there are always some to be found in the bad ideas) (2 minutes)
  • Turn the bad idea into a good idea (3 minutes)
4 Make the participants reformulate the problem statement into a negative problem statement (5 min). 8 Each group presents their ideas (1-2 min per group).

When doing this method you should consider

The time range may differ depending on the type of participants. If the participants are cognitive challenged more time would be needed.

Engage with the participants if you see that a group is not as productive.

Engage the participants by saying “Oh that is so funny or a good idea”. This shows your participants that they are doing good.

Negative ideas are not necessarily bad ideas. The idea is to challenge the participants into thinking in a different way. Oftentimes, reversing the ideas can have a positive impact on the participants level of creativity.

Materials needed

A template for each group
pens
post its
timer

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