rulesIDEO is one of the most innovative companies in the world.  In a Fast Company classic Tom Kelley talks about the IDEO rules of brainstorming.

  1. Sharpen the Focus: Start the brainstorming process by clearly articulating a customer need.
  2. Write playful rules: Ideo’s primary brainstorming rules are simple: “Defer judgment” and “One conversation at a time.”
  3. Number your ideas: Totally okay to say things like, “Let’s go for 100 ideas.”
  4. Build and jump: Brainstorming has a rhythm.  It gathers momentum and then plateaus.  Good facilitators know how to launch it, get out of the way, and then step back in when it slows.
  5. Make the space remember: Use post-it notes, flip charts, white-boards and butcher paper.  Advantage goes to movable and rearrangeable.
  6. Stretch your mental muscles: Start with warm-up exercises.  Road-trips, videos, experiences all prime the pump to fire the imagination.
  7. Get physical: Show-and-tell, build prototypes, cross-pollinate from other industries.

You can read the whole article right here. By the way, Tom Kelley’s The Ten Faces of Innovation is a fantastic read.

Image by Steve Johnson

IDEO’s Brainstorming Rules