The Art of Innovation – Part 3: Tips on Brainstorming

In The Art of Innovation, IDEO’s founder Tom Kelley writes his lessons in creativity from years of success through innovation. In this three-part series, I will take you through key takeaways from the book. This third part contains IDEO’s tips on brainstorming to enhance creativity.

7 Tips to Enhance Creativity

  • Act, sketch and mould physically, let the space of the room indicate the development of ideas (fill with paper)
  • Build and jump, let ideas flow then switch viewpoints or move laterally to keep the ideas coming
  • Defer judgement and criticism
  • Number ideas and go for quantity (100 ideas per hour)
  • Perform content related preparation and bring props for inspiration
  • Sharpen the focus outward, start with a well-defined customer need not on an organizational goal
  • Warm up by clearing the mind with a fast paced word game

5 Dangerous Habits

  • Asking experts in the target field gives depth not breadth
  • Bosses speaking first sets boundaries on communication
  • Disallowing silly ideas restricts wild, potentially successful, ideas
  • Forcing turns prevents ideas flowing naturally
  • Recording everything breaks the flow of the brainstorm, assign a scribe and keep the energy

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