Idea Storming & Idea Boards
What is “Idea Storming”? Well most people are familiar with “brainstorming” as a tool/exercise to get people exploring an issue or opportunity – very often with the intention of finding a solution. “Idea Storming” is similar in intent – to explore an issue or opportunity, but it does so in a very different way: through creative thinking. Our technical definition goes like this:
“Idea storming is the process of creative thinking sparked by curiosity and intended to explore ideas to their fullest potential.”
We believe that generating new ideas and learning to explore them to their fullest potential is a skill that anyone can master. When it becomes second nature, this is where you think faster on your feet, are more capable of innovating, and stay one step ahead. This is why we create plenty of space for you to practice your creative thinking skills within the pages of The ONE Book. You’ll find “Idea Boards” in every monthly section of your book. These pages include inspirational and thought-provoking phrases, Creativity Practices, and suggestions for different Idea Storm strategies. Here are some of our favourite creative thinking exercises, but heads up… you’re often going to start with what we call a “Curious Question”…
A Curious Question is an open ended exploration question that tees you up for an unrestricted and imaginative idea storm. It goes like this:
“In what ways can I/we…”
- In what ways can I generate more revenue?
- In what ways can we gain more traction with our social media?
- In what ways can we get the team to collaborate more?
- In what ways can I control my costs?
- In what ways can we market our new product line?
You get the idea!
You fill in the blank. Pretty simple, we know, but that’s the whole idea. Let’s break this all-important question down.
Notice we aren’t starting with “how”. This is very intentional. So often we jump to trying to figure out how to do something before we fully explore all angles of an issue or opportunity. “How” is also very typically a precursor to us evaluating an idea and judging it for it’s feasibility. Yes, we need to (at some point) assess our ideas to see if they are feasible but how often to we ditch an idea before it has a chance to fully evolve? Sometimes we are just too quick to judge and we potentially throw away a perfectly good (and innovative) idea before it’s truly been explored. So… ditch the “how” for now and let’s instead ask “in what ways…”
The word “ways” is key here. It’s not “way”… it is plural – teeing us up to look for multiple ways to solve a problem or make the most of an opportunity. This opens our mind to look for more than one solution!
Next, the words “can I/we…” implies possibility. It feeds our self-efficacy – that inner voice that so desperately wants to believe that anything is possible. “Can” doesn’t mean you have to… it just means it’s an innocent little option.
So… when we prompt you to start with your Curious Question – now you know what we mean!