Saturday, November 21, 2009

Reverse your Assumptions - My Ideation session at Barcamp06

I conducted two ideation sessions at the Barcamp organized by PuneTech. The crowd was very enthusiastic and creative - it was not only my first Barcamp but also the first time that I did Ideation sessions with such a big crowd. I chose to demonstrate two powerful creative thinking tools.

The first session: I demonstrated the application of the tool "Reverse your Assumptions" - the Techies found this tool very cool. I had learnt this tool from the book "The Medici Effect" and got good ideas every time i used it.

First we did some generic examples like Restaurant, School etc. Then we took up the problem of improving the traffic situation in Pune - came up with a big bunch of reasonably out of the box ideas in just 30 minutes.

How - The tool works like this. Take the concept of School. List down the most basic assumptions about a school - like a school needs taechers, students, classroom, books, exams etc. Then reverse each of these assumptions - a school without a teacher, no exams, no books, no students etc. Brainstorm around these reversed assumptions and list teh ideas, Finally relate the ideas to a convention school - we end up with innovative ideas to run a school.

Why - The tool readily gives out of the box ideas because when you reverse the assumption, you are able to break free from your present paradigms. You are able to escape your psychologial inertia and think fresh.

Reverse your assumptions to break the psychological inertia.

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