“demonstration of C-Sketching, a complement to brainstorming and mind mapping — combines ideas from those earlier steps into full concepts. Focuses on graphical representation, accessing a different part of the brain”
“Early in creative acts it’s important to diverge, that is to think about what you are doing in as many ways as possible. Later, you want to converge on a small number of paths to follow in more detail.”
demonstrate that groups that use Osborn’s rules of brainstorming come up with fewer ideas (and fewer good ideas) than the individuals would have developed alone.
There are several reasons for this productivity loss, as academics call it. For one, when people work together, their ideas tend to converge. As soon as one person throws out an idea, it affects the memory of everyone in the group and makes them think a bit more similarly about the problem than they did before. In contrast, when people work alone, they tend to diverge in their thinking, because everyone takes a slightly different path to thinking about the problem.
Early in creative acts it’s important to diverge, that is, to think about what you are doing in as many ways as possible. Later, you want to converge on a small number of paths to follow in more detail.
Many techniques use a structure like this. For example, in the 6-3-5 method, six people sit around a table and write down three ideas. They pass their stack of ideas to the person on their right, who builds on them. This passing is done five times, until everyone has had the chance to build on each of the ideas. Afterward, the group can get together to evaluate the ideas generated.
The 6-3-5 technique summarized.
allow individual work during divergent phases of creativity and group work during convergent phases.
Here is the key to the most productive brainstorming techniques.
t is often important to spend time agreeing on the problem to be solved. A whole round of divergence and convergence on the problem statement can be done before giving people a chance to suggest solutions.
Wonder if there is a place for this in our HMW work?
It’s important that groups have time to explore enough ideas that they can consider more than just the first few possibilities that people generate.
Many brainstorming sessions involve people talking about solutions. That biases people toward solutions that are easy to talk about. It may also lead to solutions that are abstract and may never work in practice.
a combination of drawing and writing is ideal for generating creative solutions to problems
First, it’s hard for people to describe spatial relationships, so any solution that requires a spatial layout is better described with pictures than with words. Second, a large amount of the brain is devoted to visual processing, so sketching and interpreting drawings increases the involvement of those brain regions in idea generation. Third, it is often difficult to describe processes purely in words, so diagrams are helpful.
To develop stronger ideas, you need to manage the conversation so that the team doesn’t converge on a solution before everyone hears what others are thinking.