Reverse thinking

reversedthinkingOne of the methods used in creative ideation sessions is reverse thinking. Instead of following the ‘normal, logical’ direction of a challenge, you turn it around (or an important element in the challenge) and look for opposite ideas.

You can find more methods in my latest bookazine ‘the Change mindset‘ (use voucher code ‘FRIENDCYRIEL’ to get 20% discount).

Eg: how can I triple my business network in a month?’ could become ‘How can I make sure that nobody wants to connect with me?’. What you will notice is that most participants find it easier to generate ideas about the ‘negative’ challenge because it’s a lot of times more fun. Don’t do the reverse idea-generation too long (depends of course on your available time) but normally I let people generate 10-15 ‘wrong’ ideas. Then the big challenge comes because you can do two things:

1. You turn the ‘wrong ideas’ around once more and at the same time you make them stronger (this last part is essential otherwise you get ideas that you normally have alrtready gathered before).

Eg: ‘I am never going to carry any business card with me anymore.’

would become ‘I am always going to carry a lot of business cards’

and you make it stronger: ‘I am going to give everybody who crosses my path a business card’

or ‘I bring a small printer and can print business cards whenever I want it’

2. You stay in the atmosphere of the ‘reversed idea’ and come up with new ideas.

Eg: ‘I am never going to carry any business card with me anymore.’

could become: ‘I am going to follow a memory training course and will remember all contact details of the person I talked with (and send that person a mail within 24 hours).’

or ‘I am always wearing a T-shirt with my contact details and ask the other person to make a picture of my T-shirt’

or ‘on every network event, I do something exceptional that everybody will remember and I shout my website-address’ (chance is big that people will remember you).

So the trick is to think two steps ahead instead of just reversing the ‘wrong’ idea. And some great things might come out of it. I love this first example:

The Ugly Modelling Agency:

or the reversed poem about the lost generation:

or give a reward instead of punishment (speed camera lottery):

A lot more of these examples at the website of my colleague Marc Heleven from 7 ideas (in dutch but you’ll understand the examples).

2018-11-14T12:48:03+00:00 Categories: Creativity, Examples, Tool, Video|Tags: , , |0 Comments