Part of the “BookNotes” series – highlights from interesting books I’ve recently read

Brainsteering: A Better Approach to Breakthrough Ideas, by Kevin Coyne and Shawn Coyne

Brainsteering – taking all the creative energy normally associated with brainstorming and steering it in a more productive direction

2 Secrets to Brainsteering:

  1. If you ask the right questions, answers and good ideas will follow
  2. The right process for generating breakthrough ideas looks very different from what you’ve been taught

4 Criteria for the Right Question

  1. Forces you to take a perspective you haven’t taken before
  2. Limits the conceptual space you can explore
  3. Must still provide lots of highly attractive possibilities
  4. Just plain succeeds

5 Patterns of Right Questions

  1. Identifying unsolved customer questions
  2. “De-averaging” users and activities
  3. Exporing unexpected successes
  4. Imagining perfection
  5. Discovering unexpected headroom

Brainsteering Workshop

  • Understand the criteria that will be used to make decisions about the workshop ideas
  • Select the right questions
  • Choose the right people
  • Separate the group into small subgroups
  • Match the question to the subgroup
  • Isolate the idea crushers into one group (the Boss, the Bigmouth, the subject matter Expert)
  • Orient the participants
  • Conduct each ideation session according to a strict formula

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