Last week, Consultant Proficiency Resources (CPR) LLC launched its creativity and innovation post for entrepreneurs. Highlights included: what is brainstorming how it should be applied to enhance creativity and idea generation. The post also recommended more straightforward, cost-effective, and employees' favorite techniques. This week, we will continue highlighting a couple more techniques and anticipate that you are sold about bringing brainstorming to your board room (physical or virtual) by the end of the week. The hypothetical brainstorming technique is presented today. Much like the word denotes, Hypothetical brainstorming allows you to go beyond the current issue and hypothesize within the context of the issue presented to participants.
Hypothetical brainstorming, frequently perceived as unconventional ways to conduct business, supports creative thinking and problem-solving between you and your team. Below summarizes a few techniques:
1-"What if" situation
With this brainstorming method, a facilitator presents a central topic and poses a hypothetical scenario. This technique is discussed further and recommended by CPR LLC for entrepreneurs.
Individuals and teams can use this technique to explore how another member of your team may approach the specific issue. The advantage of the role-playing technique is that it often "presents new, surprising viewpoints that can help when solving problems" (Indeed, 2021. p.1). The downside to this technique is that the role-playing may be personalized. So, know your team before going down this path.
3-Change the Attribute
According to Indeed (2021), similar to the role-playing technique, this allows participants to change a personal trait of themselves. Like the saying, "being in someone's shoe for a day." Whether the change is in the form of religion, culture, education level, title, age, or geographic location, Change the Attribute assists teams in identifying relationships amongst the various ideas generated. This technique is most recommended if the topic is client-driven instead of internal to the organization.
4-Reverse the Process
Reverse the brainstorming process, identify the intended result, and then work towards a means to the end. Indeed states, it is best that this technique "defines problems and then the team identifies all the ways problems can occur" (Indeed, 2021, p. 2). The team's goal is to identify strategies to resolve the problems. This technique requires a little more finesse and know-how from a skilled facilitator.
5. Time Travel
Time travel is unique because it allows teams to think outside their current work period. This signifies, either earlier or futuristic, thinking outside of the 21st century. Time travel allows participants to exercise the process of thinking outside the box. This gives participants a carte blanche creativity platform to create solutions based on ideas of what they would do during the imagined period. This allows participants to stretch beyond their imagination. While a little uncomfortable, a plethora of information may emanate from this exercise.
6-The Five Whys method
CPR LLC coin this technique the puerile technique. Likened to a child asking, "WHY?" this technique allows participants to do the same. Much creativity can be found in the imagination of children. This process is no different. They ask why the central focus is while the team applies at least "four to five whys” by first identifying a problem and then asking why. After gathering several answers to that first why question, they continue asking why four more times—or more—until they identify the leading cause of the issue. Brainstorming on the surface is simple, but it becomes more challenging as you elect to implement different techniques. For this reason, CPR LLC recommends applying the "what if" technique if you have elected to go with the Hypothetical technique for your organization. What-if scenarios allow the facilitator to think about the wildest scenarios within the context of the issues and present some options for consideration. Profit ultimately is at the core of any business. So, consider this scenario. You recently signed a $15,000.00 contract or made a sale in the same amount? As the leader, you may convene a brainstorming session to determine how to allocate the remaining funds. We allocate 10% as first fruits (tithes) for the Torah-keeping community. The additional allocation includes: 1-40%-business operation expenses 2-10%-emergency fund 3-10%-marketing 4-10%-innovation, and 5-20%-pay yourself if this is your only form of income. Suffice it to say, your % allocation from numbers 1 through 5 may change depending on your financial circumstances and your business incorporation status. The next few steps include:
1-setting the meeting space (virtual or face to face)
2-communicate the goal of the upcoming exercise to your team.
3-the day of the meeting, following introductions and reminding your team of the problem to be tackled, the leader poses a speculative scenario during the meeting: " What if an angel investor donates $50,000.00 to the business?
4-team generates diverse ideas during the brainstorming session to allocate funds.
5-out of the many ideas that germinate, the leader selects the top 5 ideas.
6-the leader facilitates the team in drilling down and placing the ideas in order of importance to the issue at hand.
7-test your team's decision by committing Ackeroff's Act of Commission (that is, trial and error) to determine which of the ideas generated will best meet your current needs.
Should you need assistance in applying the Brainstorming techniques for your business, please email us at workclimate@cprllcservices for coaching services or to be a facilitator. Warm Regards CeeCee Managing Partner
Consultant Proficiency Resources (CPR) LLC