Reverse brainstorming is the process of allowing answers to a negative question to flow out without validation. These ideas are then used to find valuable problem spaces, constraints and solutions. The following are illustrative examples of reverse brainstorming.
Identifying customer needs by brainstorming a negative question. For example, what is the worst thing about this product? This can be used to identify valuable functions, features, quality improvements and customer benefits.Identifying risks with a question such as how can this fail?
SolutionsAsking -- how could we make this problem worse? This occasionally provides insight into a solution.Asking -- what is the worst thing our competitor could do to us this year? This a standard way to identify strategies.
ImprovementGenerating ideas for improvement by beginning with how you could make things worse. For example, how could this process be slower and more expensive?
IcebreakerIn some cases, reverse brainstorming is comical and fun and can serve as an icebreaker for creative processes. For example, asking people to brainstorm a product feature that would drive sales of your product to zero.
This is the complete list of articles we have written about creativity.
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