Reverse brainstorming

Instead of brainstorming the outcomes you seek, this approach involves doing the opposite: creating problems for which you can then find solutions.

Here’s how to do a reverse brainstorm, from Mindtools:

  1. Clearly identify the problem or challenge, and write it down.
  2. Reverse the problem or challenge by asking: “How could I possibly cause the problem?”, or “How could I possibly achieve the opposite effect?”.
  3. Brainstorm the reverse problem to generate reverse solution ideas. Allow the brainstorm ideas to flow freely. Do not reject anything at this stage.
  4. Once you have brainstormed all the ideas to solve the reverse problem, now reverse these into solution ideas for the original problem or challenge.
  5. Evaluate these solution ideas. Can you see a potential solution? Can you see attributes of a potential solution?

A good strategy to keep in mind for team meetings – I can see that it could liven up the proceedings!

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