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How To Use 4 Rules to Unleash the Greatest Brainstorm of Your Career

Brainstorming

We looked around the conference room.

Silence.

Everyone was looking up at the ceiling, at the table, futzing with their pencils… They were looking everywhere but at the whiteboard.

“No one? No one can think any good ideas to prepare people for this event?”

Silence.

“Well. Does anyone have any bad ideas?”

Someone laughed and said “Well, we could always duct tape the FAQ to their face so they absorb it by osmosis.”

Someone chuckled. “Yes, and we could tattoo it to their arm, too!”

The room started to wake up.

Someone else jumped in, “Or we could make it their smartphone background, so they’re forced to accidentally read it as they’re using their phone.”

And then “Yes! And we could drive to their house, sneak into their room, and whisper it into their ear while they sleep.”

With a jolt, someone stood up. “Wait. There’s actually something to that. Not the sneaking into their house part, but what if we made the FAQ into a podcast? Something people could listen to while they drove to the event?”

The event organizers sat back, stunned. That was actually a pretty good idea. In just 2 minutes, they went from an awkwardly quiet room to one bursting with great ideas.

As soon as they were liberated from coming up with good ideas and were encouraged to come up with bad ones, the energy in the room picked up. Conversation started flowing. Eventually some of those bad ideas (with some modifications) became great ones.

With a few simple rules, the group had the most productive brainstorm in the history of their event.

The Four Rules For The Most Productive Brainstorm In Your Life

1) Quantity > Quality.
It may seem counter intuitive, but coming up with lots of bad ideas is better than a few good ideas.  In the story, we originally asked “Does anyone have any GOOD ideas?” That implied some standard of quality. People either self censored (thinking their ideas weren’t good enough) or worked too hard trying to come up with “good” ideas.

2) Defer Judgement.
Instead, embrace the bad ones!If you acknowledge you’re not judging ideas right now, it’s really easy to come up with lots and lots of bad ones. Sometimes a good one slips through, but more often it just means you get to use the next rule…

3) Yes, and...
This comes from improvisational comedy. If you say “No,” the improv scene or the idea is dead in the water. Instead, say “Yes, and… we could add this to it” or “and we could change this part” or “and we could do this aspect differently.”

In the story above, obviously we probably shouldn’t sneak into people’s homes and whisper to them while they sleep. But we used “yes, and…” to take the good part of the idea, using their ears instead of their eyes, and build on it.

You can almost always take a bad idea and “Yes, and” it into a good one.

4) Don’t Get Caught Up in the Details.
If you’re coming up with lots of bad ideas, it’s important not to get bogged down with the details too soon. People tend to immediately look for why something won’t work… don’t do that! Don’t get bogged down in the details. Wait to fill them in later. At this point, you want to produce lots of ideas – getting into the weeds on each one will just slow you down.

So next time you need to brainstorm ideas, go for quantity over quality. The more going into the top of a funnel means more comes out the bottom. And that means a higher chance of fantastic ideas.

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Why Feasibility Studies Are The Wrong Way To Start

Every time I hear the phrase “Feasibility Study,” I cringe.

A Feasibility Study means an organization isn’t thinking about their customers. They’re thinking about themselves. And that means the customer isn’t going to end up with their problems getting solved.

Why do people do Feasibility Studies? Generally, to find out if it’s feasible to build something. Do they have the resources to build it? Do they have the technical ability to build it? Is it even possible to build?

Can you guess what question is missing here? Hint: “Do customers want it?”

Whenever an organization starts with a Feasibility Study, it means they’re more concerned with can they build something, rather than should they build something. Which means they end up building something that’s feasible… but not necessarily desirable.

Instead of starting with a Feasibility Study, start with a Desirability Study. Go find out what the customer truly wants. What is the most desirable way to solve their problem?

Pretend you’re in an ideal, magical world with unlimited resources and no pesky physics. There’s nothing stopping you from making your customer’s wildest dreams a reality. Go find out what those wildest dreams are.

Only move on once you know how desirable a solution is.

At Wonful, we use a framework called DVF, or Desirability, Viability, Feasibility, to compare and prioritize product ideas.

Whenever we’re evaluating a potential idea, we rate it on these three metrics, and in that order. To use a concrete example, lets talk about Jet Packs.

Desirability: Do people want it? (Yes! People definitely want jet packs. You could fly over the traffic jam during your morning commute, skip the hike and go straight to the summit of the mountain, and you could experience what humans have dreamed of for so long!)

Viability: Is there a business case for this? This is a hand-wavey estimate of impact divided by cost. Is it worth it? (Definitely! Lots of people would buy jet packs, if they were available.)

Feasibility: Can it be built? (Unfortunately, the technology just isn’t there. Also, can you imagine the FAA’s response? They’d probably have a cow!)

Rate your idea a score of 1 (low) to 10 (high) for each of the three dimensions. These ratings are a best-guess, and Desirability is based on your understanding of the customer (and should be supported by customer interviews and fresh data).

Jet packs would definitely rate a 10 on Desirability, probably an 8 on Viability (only rich people could afford them at first, but there’d definitely be cheaper models in the future), but definitely a 1 on Feasibility.

If you have more than one product idea, you can also use DVF to decide which ones to focus on. Once all your ideas are rated, examine the ones that rated highly across the board. Start exploring those in more detail.

Then look at ideas that ranked high on Desirability, but lower on Viability or Feasibility. What can you change about those ideas to improve them?

Instead of jet packs, we could make one of those water powered jet packs. Yes, it’d be for recreation instead of practical use, so the desirability would probably drop down to a 7. And yes, you’d be tied to a lake or a river instead of free to fly wherever you want, so make Viability a 6. But feasibility would shoot up to a 9. It’s totally something we could build! Add it to your list of ideas to continue exploring.

Desirability is the most important of the three elements. If we didn’t start with Desirability, we never would have thought of the water-powered jet pack idea. If we had started with Feasibility, we would have simply ruled out jet packs as something that couldn’t be built and moved on.

People start with Feasibility Studies to see if they can build something. But what’s the point in building something if nobody wants it? Start with Desirability Studies to figure out how desirable products are, use DVF to compare different product ideas to help you prioritize what to explore more, and worry about how realistic and feasible an idea is only after you know people would want it.

 

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The Secret to Never Building The Wrong Thing Again.

Amazon Fire Phone

The way people build products usually goes something like this:

Step 1: Have a great idea. This usually occurs in the shower, because that’s where all great ideas happen.

Step 2: Figure out exactly what problem that idea solves.

Step 3: Build the product.

Step 4: Find customers who have that problem, convince them to use your product.

But there’s something very, very wrong with building products this way. You don’t talk to customers until Step 4, when you’re trying to sell your product! What happens if you try to sell it, but no one wants it? What happens if you only discover you built the wrong thing after you’ve built the whole product?

You’re in a whole lot of trouble, that’s what happens. You’ve invested a tremendous amount of time, money, and resources into a solution for a problem no one has.

This is exactly what Amazon did with their new Fire Phone. Within a month of launching, they barely shipped 35,000 phones. Nobody wanted it. Amazon cut the price from $200 to 99 cents. It didn’t help.

Then they more or less gave up on Version 1 of the phone, writing it off as a 170 million dollar loss. They pledged to make Version 2 better by learning from the criticism, the feedback, and from their customers.

$170 million a very expensive lesson. (They should have hired Wonful. We could have taught them a better way to do this for.. say.. only $150 million? Twenty million in savings!)

What lesson should they have learned? What could we have taught them?

Reverse the approach. Instead of having an idea, figuring out what problem it solves, building the product, then talking to customers…

Step 1: Choose a customer segment.

Step 2: Talk to them and find out what problems they have.

Step 3: Develop a solution for those problems.

Step 4: Sell the solution to the people who said they had that problem.

Go talk to your customers first! Not to validate your product idea… but to find out what problems they actually have. Then go build something that solves those problems.

The three benefits to doing it this way are:

1) Discover if the customer segment you chose is a good or bad customer. You may discover it’s difficult to reach that customer segment (people in another country), they don’t have a lot of money (students), or they hate spending money (restaurants). If you discover this at the very beginning, it’s fast, easy, and inexpensive to switch to a new customer segment if you want to. If you discover these problems after you’ve built the product, it’s expensive and likely too late to address them.

2) Find out what your customers biggest problems are by going through an explicit problem discovery phase. People tend to focus on the first problem they find, or the one that resonates with them the most, but those rarely turn out to be the most important ones. Discovering lots of problems ensures you solve a problem important to the customer, and it’s always better to solve a “Top Three Problem” than it is to solve Problem #17 on their list. Once you’ve discovered many problems, you can choose which one you want to solve.

3) Once you decide on a problem, go through an explicit solution generation phase. The goal is not to think up one solution, but thirty. It’s easy to get attached to your first idea about how to solve a problem, and most people just stop there. But if you come up with thirty ideas, you can choose to explore the three most promising ones.  Run some experiments on those three, and you’ll uncover which is the best idea. If you only have one idea, you’re going to risk everything on your first idea.

One of the biggest challenges to this approach is letting go of your own ideas, and instead trusting the discovery process to reveal the best customer, the best problem to solve, and the best way to solve it.

Accepting a small increase in the time to market is another common challenge. Most companies take shortcuts or skip this phase completely to get the product out to market faster, but they’re failing to adequately weigh the risks. Rushing through or ignoring this process drastically increases the chance of building the wrong thing, and the cost of building the wrong thing is massive.

Spending a little more time and money on the front end to ensure you’re building the best right thing means you’ll be able to deliver incredible value to your customers. Not doing it means risking the fate of your project or company.

 

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How To Succeed By Figuring Out How To Fail

TRIZ

“We’re not just going to learn about these techniques today, we’re actually going to use them. And since it’s easier to talk about something if everyone has some experience in it, we picked a shared, real-world topic that all of you should know something about.”

Every seat was taken 15 minutes before we were scheduled to start. It was well beyond standing room only, as people flooded out into the hallway.

Our break-out session at the Lean Washington Conference was absolutely overflowing (Maybe it was because I hid the “Session Full” sign).

“In this workshop, we’re going to focus on this conference – the one we’re at right now! The theme for today is: How can we make this the best conference possible? No one knows the answer to that question better than you all – the people attending this conference!”

Wonful had been given 50 minutes to speak at the Lean Washington Conference in October. 2700 Washington State employees came together for a two day conference to learn about Lean, Kanban, process improvement, Agile, Pre-Agile, and the latest in getting work done better. Instead of talking at our audience for an hour, we decided to run a much more interactive session.

“Okay. Everyone ready to start designing the best conference we can? Lets start with an exercise called TRIZ. In a moment, we’re going to ask you a question. Call out your answers, and we’ll write them down on the whiteboard.”

“Everyone ready for the question? Okay.”

Question #1:
“What is everything you, or your fellow attendees, could possibly do to reliably guarantee… (there was a dramatic pause here)… that this is the worst conference you’ve ever attended. That this was a massive waste of time, you were miserable, and you didn’t learn a single thing the entire two days.”

The room was silent. This definitely was not the question they were expecting. After a moment, people started laughing nervously. Someone finally broke the silence:

“I could spend the entire conference checking my email instead of paying attention to the presentations.”

The whole room roared. Not because it was funny – but because it hit home. Everyone does that. This opened the floodgates, and answers poured in:

“I could skip sessions to talk to my friends in the hallways.”
“I could wear earplugs and a blindfold all day!”
“I could not take notes.”
“Heckling speakers!”
“Pulling the fire alarm!”
“Leaving sessions early for lunch!”
“Disagreeing with one thing a presenter said, then tuning out the rest of the time!”

Once the room quiets down, we have a list of twenty or thirty behaviors on the board. Some ridiculous and silly, but many realistic ones as well. Instead of thinking about what they could do to succeed, the first phase of TRIZ gets people thinking about all the behaviors they could engage in to ensure failure.

Question #2:
“Okay. Time for phase two. Next question – Which of these behaviors have you either personally engaged in, or seen others do, at this conference so far?

People called out behaviors they’d engaged in, or seen others do over the last day. As people called them out, we circled them on the board. More than half of the words on the board were circled.

The answers to this question can be really surprising. People never realize how they’re actively engaging in so many behaviors that hurt their own chances of success. By calling out and identifying them, people are a lot more aware of them when they happen.

If they see someone else – or notice themselves – checking their email during a session, they understand the consequences. After all, they just acknowledged the connection between “checking email during a session” and “making this the worst conference ever.”

Question #3:
“Last question. How can you stop engaging in these behaviors?

One person decided to stop bringing she phone into the conference center, so she physically couldn’t check email. Someone else wanted to stop dismissing presenters just because they said one thing he disagreed with. Another person said he would stop leaving home without a notebook and pen.

These are all behaviors people acknowledged they currently engaged in, and pledged to stop. If someone notices they have their phone in their pocket as they’re getting out of the car, they can put it in the glove compartment. If another attendee notices themselves getting upset at a presenter, they can check in with themselves and keep listening.

It’s important to notice something. You are not starting new behaviors.

I’m going to repeat that because it’s very important: You are not starting new behaviors. You are stopping old ones.

Phase three of TRIZ is all about calling out what you should stop doing. Organizations often put new processes in place to stop something bad from happening.

A bus driver must stop to rest every six hours.

A bus driver must get 8 hours of sleep the night before a drive.

A bus driver must eat a healthy breakfast that morning.

A bus driver must have water, snacks, and caffeine pills to keep them awake.

The rules keep stacking up. After all, it’s really important that the bus driver doesn’t fall asleep while driving a bus full of people. But at some point, there are too many rules. Even the most well intentioned bus driver forgets Rule #17.

If you work in a large, or old, organization – you can probably relate. There are so many rules around some processes, it’s almost impossible even for the well intentioned to follow them all.

But, if one of the answers to our first question was “Bus drivers drive when tired,” what if the rule was “Do what you need to do to stop driving while tired.” We can erase ten other “you must do” rules by simply encouraging people to “you must not do” a single behavior. This reduces the complexity of the rules, the complexity of the overhead of managing those rules, and encourages more innovative ways to accomplish the ultimate goal.

So to recap, use TRIZ to brainstorm behaviors that ensure the failure of a project or task. When they’re brainstorming behaviors, encourage them to get silly and ridiculous (even the silly ones, like “wear ear plugs and a blindfold,” can have roots in reality).

Reword these the three questions as necessary, but keep the fundamentals of the question the same:

1. “What is everything you can do, personally or as a group, to reliably guarantee that [a bad thing happens]?”
2. “Which of these behaviors do you see happening around you today?”
3. “How can you stop engaging in these behaviors?”

 

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8 Simple Rules For Mastering Customer Interviews

Egyptians drive chariots, not cars!

Egyptians drive chariots, not cars!

I want you to imagine you’re a farmer from the year 3117 BC – way back in the ancient Egyptian times.

Imagine, one day while farming, you find a mysterious hole in your field. You walk up to the edge, peer in… but then lose your balance, faint and fall in! When you wake up, you’re in the year 2014… and you’re sitting behind the wheel of a taxi in Midtown Manhattan!

You’re pretty smart for an ancient Egyptian, so you figure out that this vehicle is some sort of horseless chariot… but you must still be so confused!

You don’t know how fast you’re supposed to go, you don’t know which side of the street you’re supposed to drive on, and you don’t know why people keep waving at you and trying to get in your chariot!

You don’t understand any of the rules of driving a taxi.

Customer Interviews can be like an Ancient Egyptian driving a taxi in modern New York. You might figure out that the right pedal makes the chariot go faster, and that turning the wheel will turn the chariot…

But will you know how traffic lights work?

Will you know that you can make a right turn on red?

Will you know you’re supposed to pass in the left lane and cruise in the right?

There are rules to customer interviews. Follow them, and you can learn more from your customers than you ever imagined.

Break them… and risk basing your entire project, product, or organization on bad information. And that can mean catastrophic failure.

Just like “Red means stop,” these rules are easy to remember and easy to understand. Unlike “Green means go,” these rules are a lot harder to master. But keep them in mind as you do your interviews, practice, and just like parallel parking – you will get better. And you will be amazed as the quality of the stories you hear from your customers skyrockets.

 

The Rules of Customer Interviews

Rule #1: No Ice Cream Questions
“Do you want ice cream?” The answer to this question is ALWAYS “Yes!” (What sane and rational person would answer “No” to this!?).

“Do you want ice cream? It costs $3,000 a gallon.” Now? “Maybe not so much.”

Ice Cream Questions are when you purposely hold back a key piece of information that you know will change the answer to the question.

 

Rule #2: Pull, Don’t Push
When you’re interviewing a customer, don’t push your thoughts, opinions, or ideas on to them. Instead, pull information from them in an unbiased way. It’s easy for a customer to agree with you when you ask “Don’t you hate when your dog smells bad?”

But if you ask “What’s the worst part of having a dog?” and they say “I hate when my dog smells bad!”, it’s MUCH better validation.

 

Rule #3: No Leading Questions, No Pitching.
This is pretty self explanatory. Pitching your product idea and asking leading questions are “pushing.” Don’t do it. Have a friend sit next to you when you interview and tell them to kick you in the shin if you ask one.

 

Rule #4: Past Behavior Indicates Future Behavior
“I’m going to start going to the gym every day this year!”

“How many times did you go to the gym last year?”

“Uhm… Twice.”

How likely is it this customer will go to the gym every day for the whole year? Not very likely. But what if they had gone to the gym 5 times a week, every week, for the last year? Suddenly… it becomes a lot more plausible.

What people HAVE DONE IN THE PAST is the best indicator of what they WILL DO IN THE FUTURE. Don’t ask “would you ever” or “do you think you would” questions. Instead, ask “Have you ever” and “tell me about the last time” type questions.

 

Rule #5: Actual Self vs Ideal Self
When you ask someone what they will do in the future, they will tell you what their Ideal Self will do. I see myself as someone who goes to the gym everyday for the next year. If you ask me what I’ve done in the past, I’ll tell you about my Actual Self, who only went to the gym twice last year.

If you’re basing your product off what you learn from your customers… do you want to make decisions based on how your customers think they’ll act… or how they actually act?

 

Rule #6: “N of 1” is Not Proof
If you hear something from one person, it’s not necessarily representative of the whole. Keep talking to customers until you start to hear the same stories over and over again.

 

Rule #7: Ask Low Cognitive Load Questions
Ask the person in the office next to you “What’s the best home cooked meal you’ve ever had in your entire life?” Look at their reaction. They sit back. Their eyes glaze over a little bit. Their shoulders drop and they sigh.

That’s a really hard question! You don’t want to overwork your interviewees. Instead, start with an easy question. If you want to know what makes a great home cooked meal, start with “What’s the last home cooked meal you’ve eaten?” Keep asking follow up questions, and eventually you can be sure they’ll talk about what makes a great meal.

 

Rule #8: Stories Are Better Than Facts
We all know you want more than just “yes” or “no” answers to questions. But there’s more than just that – you want to ask questions that elicit STORIES, rather than facts. Lets say you ask someone what exercises they did last time they went to the gym, and they say “I do pullups, pushups, and squats.” Okay. Got it.

That could mean they do 10 or 15 each throughout the day at the office. Or, maybe they do Crossfit and do they do 200 one handed pull-ups in 5 minutes! If you had gotten the story of their last workout, instead of just the facts about the exercises they did, you’d reveal some pretty important information!

If you’re building a product, you CAN’T assume anything. If you just get the facts, you have to fill in the details and make a lot of assumptions.

 

So there they are. The eight rules of customer interviews. Use them wisely so you don’t accidentally drive into oncoming traffic like our poor Ancient Egyptian friend.

 

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Three Magic Words To Eliminate Bad Meetings

Decide, Discuss, Inform

There is one type of person in the world: People who hate meetings, and people who love well-run meetings.

Over coffee yesterday, my friend told me a story from when he used to work for Microsoft:

He was heading out for lunch when he glanced at his calendar… and saw he had a meeting half a mile away that started in 10 minutes! He didn’t remember anything about this meeting, but sprinted across campus to make it on time. He walked in just as everyone was sitting down.

People settled in, look around, and then… the room went silent. People looked around some more. Everyone was waiting for someone else to start.

Finally, my friend spoke up. “So, uh… who called this meeting?”

Silence.

“Uhm.. does anyone know what this meeting is about?”

Silence.

“Who are all you people?”

Everyone laughed. No one in that room had ever even met each other.

This is definitely one of the worst meetings I’ve heard about, but everyone has meetings like this (although maybe not so obvious!). Hating meetings is a popular meme, but why do people hate meetings?

Because they’re boring. They’re unproductive. You often don’t even know why you’re there or what the purpose of the meeting is.

If you want people to stop hating meetings, there are three easy words you can choose from that will immediately improve the quality of every meeting you have:

Decide, Discuss, Inform.

Every meeting should exist to do ONE of these three things. And before any meeting, everyone should know which of these three types of meetings it is.

Is the purpose of the meeting to decide something? If so, make sure you have deciders in the room. Make sure they know what they’re going to be deciding on. Make sure they know you’re all walking away from this meeting with a decision.

Is the purpose of the meeting to discuss something? If so, make sure the people in the room know what you’re discussing. Make sure they’re the right stakeholders to discuss that topic. Make sure people have the information they need to have an intelligent discussion. And make sure people know there is no expectation of coming to a decision in that meeting.

Finally, is the purpose of the meeting to inform the group about something? Are you telling people about a new policy or rule? A new hire or fire? Make sure people know this is largely going to be informational, and not a discussion.

The worst part about meetings is when people have mismatched expectations going into them. If my boss think this is an Inform meeting, but you think it’s a Decide meeting… there’s going to be some conflict and some frustration.

Try this out. When you send your next meeting invite, in the meeting description use the phrase: “The purpose of this meeting is to [decide/discuss/inform] about [topic].”

If you’re interested in exterminating boring and unproductive meetings forever, Wonful is running a public workshop: Liberating Structures: Stop Unproductive Meetings, Start Producing Dramatically Better Results. The workshop is January 21st and 22nd in Seattle. Use the code InnovationAtWork for 10% off!

 

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Welcome to Innovation at Work.

Welcome to the Innovation at Work newsletter! As a thank you for subscribing, we wanted to share 4 simple rules you can start using today that will help you have the greatest brainstorming sessions of your entire career!

How To Use 4 Rules to Unleash the Greatest Brainstorm of Your Career

Brainstorming

It looks like we’re lounging, but we’re really brainstorming!

Silence.

Everyone was looking up at the ceiling, at the table, futzing with their pencils… They were looking everywhere but at the whiteboard.

“No one? No one can think any good ideas to prepare people for this event?”

Silence.

“Well. Does anyone have any bad ideas?”

Someone laughed and said “Well, we could always duct tape the FAQ to their face so they absorb it by osmosis.”

Someone chuckled. “Yes, and we could tattoo it to their arm, too!”

The room started to wake up.

Someone else jumped in, “Or we could make it their smartphone background, so they’re forced to accidentally read it as they’re using their phone.”

And then “Yes! And we could drive to their house, sneak into their room, and whisper it into their ear while they sleep.”

With a jolt, someone stood up. “Wait. There’s actually something to that. Not the sneaking into their house part, but what if we made the FAQ into a podcast? Something people could listen to while they drove to the event?”

The event organizers sat back, stunned. That was actually a pretty good idea. In just 2 minutes, they went from an awkwardly quiet room to one bursting with great ideas.

As soon as they were liberated from coming up with good ideas and were encouraged to come up with bad ones, the energy in the room picked up. Conversation started flowing. Eventually some of those bad ideas (with some modifications) became great ones.

With a few simple rules, the group had the most productive brainstorm in the history of their event.

The Four Rules For The Most Productive Brainstorm In Your Life

1) Quantity > Quality.
It may seem counter intuitive, but coming up with lots of bad ideas is better than a few good ideas. In the story, we originally asked “Does anyone have any GOOD ideas?” That implied some standard of quality. People either self censored (thinking their ideas weren’t good enough) or worked too hard trying to come up with “good” ideas.

2) Defer Judgement.
Instead, embrace the bad ones! If you acknowledge you’re not judging ideas right now, it’s really easy to come up with lots and lots of bad ones. Sometimes a good one slips through, but more often it just means you get to use the next rule…

3) Yes, and…
This comes from improvisational comedy. If you say “No,” the improv scene or the idea is dead in the water. Instead, say “Yes, and… we could add this to it” or “and we could change this part” or “and we could do this aspect differently.”

In the story above, obviously we probably shouldn’t sneak into people’s homes and whisper to them while they sleep. But we used “yes, and…” to take the good part of the idea, using their ears instead of their eyes, and build on it.

You can almost always take a bad idea and “Yes, and” it into a good one.

4) Don’t Get Caught Up in the Details.
If you’re coming up with lots of bad ideas, it’s important not to get bogged down with the details too soon. People tend to immediately look for why something won’t work… don’t do that! Don’t get bogged down in the details. Wait to fill them in later. At this point, you want to produce lots of ideas – getting into the weeds on each one will just slow you down.

So next time you need to brainstorm ideas, go for quantity over quality. The more going into the top of a funnel means more comes out the bottom. And that means a higher chance of fantastic ideas.

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