Brainstorming with Subject Matter Experts

I wrote about brainstorming a while back, as you can see here. And then I ran across this movie:

Many of the core concepts of effective brainstorming are covered really well here including writing everything down, saying whatever comes to mind, and holding off judgement. But it made we wonder about the times when nobody seems to have the faintest idea what they are talking about. Sound familiar? The sessions where lots of ideas are generated but none of them seem to be remotely implementable. You might even question whether the session delivered any ideas with value whatsoever.

There are plenty of ways to try and remedy this problem, the main ones seem to be:

  • invite some people who know their stuff
  • do some research before you start generating ideas

In this great post, we see how much effort IDEO put into exploration before they even consider brainstorming and ideating. It’s a pretty simple lesson, but one worth remembering. It’s not the tools that get the job done, it’s the people using the tools.

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