Brainstorming

Individual Idea Generation

How might we keep everyday electronics and cords organized?

New Warm-Up Game: Constrained Wordball

Constrained Wordball in action (the end of this gif shows a category change!)

For my warm-up game, I wanted to bring an original twist to a game that already brings out the creative side in people. I also wanted to make the game as simple as possible so as not to spend too much time explaining any complex structures. To accomplish this, I started with the framework of one of the most basic warm up games we used in class: Wordball. It’s simple, but it gets people more comfortable with each other and allows for the rapid creation and introduction of ideas. To further the concept, I introduced a constraining aspect. When the game begins, the facilitator introduces a category of arbitrary scale which each word must fit into. The game is played in the same format, with individuals pointing across the group and saying the first word that comes to mind, however if a group member takes more than five seconds to come up with a word, or says a word outside of the category, then they must introduce a new category and a new starting word. It adds a new level of interest to the game, lets participants move on from ideas rapidly, and allows participants to think within the constraints which can make it easier to flow from idea to idea. The concept of constraining can then be reintroduced later in the brainstorming session, and it was!

Session Organization

In my brainstorming session, there were five members: Bailey, Turner, Matt, Neal, and myself. Bailey is my former roommate, Turner and Matt are my coworkers, and Neal is a team member of mine from Intro to Entrepreneurship. I found out upon their arrival that Neal and Matt both had to leave 45 minutes after the session started, so we only played Constrained Wordball as our warm up game, and then I explained the brainstorming and we jumped right in. I had asked all four of the participants to prepare several ideas, but only Turner came with idea notes, which made it hard to get started. However, I introduced a few of my ideas and we got the ball rolling.

I was happy that we were able to get a lot of Post-Its on the board ~5 minutes in, but we started to slow down after that so I introduced the “character” activity we used in class. This helped get more ideas up all at once, but the energy waned again after that. At the end, I was a little disappointed with our final numbers, but we still went through the sorting process all the same.

Total time of the session: 22.5 mins

Total ideas: 27

IPM: 0.24

Sorting and Voting

Even though my session did not create many ideas, the sorting process still generated interesting concepts. In the first step, all ideas were silently sorted by the five participants into separate categories. Then, as the facilitator, I labeled each category with a symbol and we silently re-sorted the ideas. After that we replaced the symbols with category names which we all decided on. In this process I took a back seat so as not to overpower the discussion. The photos below show the details of the sorting:

Each sorting step is shown above and below

Top Ideas

Initial Timeline:

Like what you read? Give Theodore Ryan a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.