The Reverse Brainstorming
Brainstorming became a modern staple in the process of problem-solving within all kinds of companies. The technique is based on discussion with a group of people, where all manner of ideas are generated and people encourage each other to generate as many of them as possible.
The same principles are being used when having a reverse brainstorming session.
However, the outcome of the reversed statement might be reversed once again to generate novel solutions or check if we aren't committing those mistakes already. Examples: 1. How do we improve clients satisfaction?" How could we assure that the clients are unsatisfied? " 2. How could I have more money? How could I have less money?
we'll try to find the solutions by the end of our lesson, now let's go through the process.
1. The Problem Statement
We need to define the problem as precisely as we can. Not doing so may lead to asking the wrong questions which will not reveal our true problems. A great example might be Einstein when he was approached by a reporter with a question: You have 1h to save the world what do you do? E: I use 55 min at that time to define the Problem and 5 min to generate solutions. You can find here more on how to clarify the problem.
2. The Reversal
Reverse the problem or challenge by asking questions such as :
"How could I possibly cause that problem?" or "How could I achieve the opposite effect?"
Brainstorm the reverse problem, generate as many ideas as possible, the basic principle of the ideation process is to defer judgement. We need to generate as many ideas as possible, to achieve that don't use the words such as" but " instead focus on the word "and ". IDEA ----- > but this wouldn't work, but what about, IDEA ----- > Yes and the other thing which may work is.
Allow the brainstorming ideas to flow freely. Do not reject anything at this stage, no matter how strange or silly they might sound. Great ideas come from quantity over quality at this stage.
4. The Re-Reversal
Once you have brainstormed all the ideas to solve the reverse problem, now once again reverse these into solutions for the original problem or challenge.
Once we have generated a lot of ideas going thru all of the previous steps, it's time to Evaluate them. This is the moment in which we select the best ideas which are most likely to solve our problem or challenge.
It's crucial to execute each of t the steps before with all of its importance to have a huge palette of choices
Now let's look for the solutions for our two initial challanges
1 1. " How could we assure that our clients are unsatisfied ? "
- Be rude ----> be polite
- Don't listen to them ------ > listen carefully
- Ignore their problems ------> get to know and acknowledge all of their problems
- Create a product at a price greater than the value ----- > create a product which price reflects its value
2. " How could I prevent making more money ?"
- Don't learn anything new ----> learn something new constantly
- Stick to the problems instead of solutions ----> look for the solutions to the problems
- Don't build a stronger network of people who may help you ----> create a network of great people
- Spend more than necessary ----> spend money within the budget
- By things which we don't need ----> buy things which bring value and improve our lives
- Don't budget and analyze your spendings -----> budget and analyze your spendings
- Do not look for opportunities -----> always search for opportunities
- Don't search for a better-paid job ----> look for a better job
Stuck ? Try using it in a brainstorming session or when trying to solve your or your client's problems.
As Human beings, we are terrible at evaluating and estimating things by eye. The reverse brainstorming process may greatly improve our capability to solve the problems and improve our critical thinking, which is one of the most if not the most crucial skill for success.