Brainstorming is great fun, it is creative, it is full of energy and at the end of the process you have got 10,000 ideas that you could do something with – but where do you start? Moving from brainstorming into concept development requires just the right strategy, but beware the wrong strategy or you’ll find yourself moving straight from idea brainstorming to idea assassination.

We’ve seen groups that transition from brainstorming into design by becoming very negative, you know, they look through the list of 10,000 ideas and one by one eliminate the ones that are too big, the ones that are too small, that are too this and too that, so that by the end of their examination they have one idea left – the one they are currently doing.

And then there are the groups that transition from brainstorming into design by remaining too positive, they look at their list of 10,000 ideas and one by one love them all, so that by the end of their examination they end up with the same list they started with and there’s just not enough time to design 10,000 ideas.

We prefer the strategy where you apply a filter to move from brainstorm to design, you set a group of parameters that your ideas must meet (it must be….. it must be….. it must not be… must not be…..) and then you test your ideas against those parameters and identify the ones that with some good thinking would meet the parameters whilst challenging the current way of thinking.  This strategy is the pragmatic one, you are not killing ideas or loving them, you are making them jump through a few hoops to find the potential winners.

Once you have filtered the ideas that could work, then you can get about really designing them.

What do you end up with? A select group of brainwaves that you can put into action, when the right time arrives.

Avatar photo

Written by Lisa Smith

Twitter LinkedIn

Lisa is a professional thinker dedicated to helping people unlock their innate creativity and to empower them to think differently – for themselves. She is passionate about building innovative cultures and about harnessing and engaging talent to create thinking communities. Lisa holds an MBA, specialising in organisational change and innovation, which forms the nucleus of her work. She relishes opportunities to share the Minds at Work thinking strategies with government bodies, socially responsible corporate, educators, community groups and farmers, helping them to turn their big ideas into realities.