solo ideation ( was: Brainstorming )

28 Aug 2008 - 11:09am
6 years ago
2 replies
623 reads
michel.milano
2005

for a self-guided adventure in brainstorming, i would recommend the following (admittedly, it should be applicable to groups as well as solo tours). i have never understood why this books isnt on more book lists nor required to be in everyones shelves.
perhaps it is simply too clear for audiences demanding controversy.

The Universal Traveller
A soft systems guide to creativity, problem-solving, and thd process of reaching goals.
by Don Koberg, Jim Bagnall
http://preview.tinyurl.com/5lu985

Looks like you can read pieces of it in Google Books, too, which i hadn't known before finding this just now.
http://books.google.com/books?id=aa9pt9MknUoC&dq=The+Universal+Traveller

it is unabashedly humane and joyful about design, and outside the quibbling about definitions.
maybe some attention can bring it back out of print.

good reading,
michel milano

> Which of these techniques are suitable for *solo* ideation?

Comments

29 Aug 2008 - 2:12am
martinpolley
2007

Hi Michel,

Thanks for pointing me to this book. I have started reading the Google Books
preview. Good stuff!

Thanks,

Martin

On Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 7:09 PM, michel milano <michel_milano at yahoo.com>wrote:

> for a self-guided adventure in brainstorming, i would recommend the
> following (admittedly, it should be applicable to groups as well as solo
> tours). i have never understood why this books isnt on more book lists nor
> required to be in everyones shelves.
> perhaps it is simply too clear for audiences demanding controversy.
>
>
> The Universal Traveller
> A soft systems guide to creativity, problem-solving, and thd process of
> reaching goals.
> by Don Koberg, Jim Bagnall
> http://preview.tinyurl.com/5lu985
>
> Looks like you can read pieces of it in Google Books, too, which i hadn't
> known before finding this just now.
> http://books.google.com/books?id=aa9pt9MknUoC&dq=The+Universal+Traveller
>
>
> it is unabashedly humane and joyful about design, and outside the quibbling
> about definitions.
> maybe some attention can bring it back out of print.
>
> good reading,
> michel milano
>
>
>
> > Which of these techniques are suitable for *solo* ideation?
>

30 Aug 2008 - 11:51pm
martinpolley
2007

Hi Gayle,

Thanks very much!

I especially liked this bit:

What it means in practice is that we want to entertain not only the wild,
> weird and improbable, but also the dumb, mundane, copycat, and obvious
> ideas.

I'm definitely guilty of sometimes ignoring the dumb, mundane, copycat, and
obvious ideas. Often the obvious idea is obvious *for a reason* :)

Cheers,

Martin

On Sat, Aug 30, 2008 at 11:30 PM, Gayle Curtis <gcurtis at gaylecurtis.com>wrote:

> Hi Michel and Martin-
> First of all, +1 on Universal Traveller. I've been working with that book
> since the 1976 edition, and I find the concepts and process framework are
> still very powerful and insightful.
>
> I'd like to add to the discussion about solo ideation by framing of it as
> a dialog with ourselves. We want to get dialog of ideas flowing and keep
> them flowing. Here are some points of practice that I have found very
> useful:
>
> 1. Set up a defined time for the session. We want to challenge ourselves to
> think by different rules for a while because we're going to set aside our
> dominant analytical and critical thinking abilities and open up the wild
> side of imagination. So we give our critical side the assurance that we're
> going to play by these rules for only 20 or 30 minutes, then the critical
> function can come back in.
>
> 2. Keep the critical thinking function out of the room during the session.
> This is another way of thinking about Osborn's "defer judgement" principle,
> and it's fundamental to this kind of ideation. Without this principle, we
> end up driving with our foot on the brake. What it means in practice is that
> we want to entertain not only the wild, weird and improbable, but also the
> dumb, mundane, copycat, and obvious ideas. Let everything and anything come
> out. We want flow, and sometimes the best way to start the flow is with the
> most obvious solutions. Get them out and see what's behind them.
>
> 3. Get the ideas into the room. It's hard to have a constructive dialog
> with ourselves if it all takes place inside our head. Thoughts are
> ephemeral, and to really respond and build on an idea we need to make it
> persistent. Write things on postits or whiteboard, or slips of paper on the
> table, or anything that captures the ephemeral thoughts. Get them out of our
> head and into the room. This makes way for new thoughts and creates
> artifacts that we can sort, cluster, combine, etc., to see patterns and
> relationships, as well as reconsider and reflect on.
>
> 4. Be visual. It really helps to make some kind of visual sketch or
> notation for an idea as we create it. The process is more natural when we're
> brainstorming about physical objects, but don't be blocked by the notion
> that "there's no way to represent this idea...." Find a way to put some kind
> of glyph, scribble or symbol with even the most abstract concepts. The idea
> here is not to make a graphical explanation of the idea on the spot, because
> that may really break the flow. We just want to tie something visual to it.
> When we scan the wall or board or table full of ideas, these little
> graphical snips give the imagination something else to work with. A sketch
> or scribble that's tied to a verbal idea also makes individual ideas easier
> to identify and remember, when faced with a wall of 50-100 postits.
>
> 5. Be visual again later. I have found it useful to take a second
> visualizing pass on the ideas even after the brainstorm session is over.
> Take some set of the most promising ideas and make a sketch that represents
> each one. The process of thinking over the idea and trying to come up with a
> way to diagram or represent it often gives new insight into that idea and
> spawns other new ideas. Try this as a simple exercise or practice for time
> or two and see how it affects your overall attitude and results.
>
> I find these basic practices are really foundational to almost any kind of
> specific ideation technique, such as brainwriting, mindmapping, etc., and
> they really make the techniques more powerful and effective.
>
> Thanks for raising the question. I look forward to more on this thread.
>
> Gayle
>
>
>
>
>>
>> Message: 16
>> Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2008 10:12:41 +0300
>> From: Martin <martin.polley at gmail.com>
>> Subject: Re: [IxDA Discuss] solo ideation ( was: Brainstorming )
>> To: "michel milano" <michel_milano at yahoo.com>
>> Cc: IXDA list <discuss at ixda.org>
>> Message-ID:
>> <2284edf70808290012j3de10437y681790118460d481 at mail.gmail.com>
>> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8
>>
>>
>> Hi Michel,
>>
>> Thanks for pointing me to this book. I have started reading the Google
>> Books
>> preview. Good stuff!
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> Martin
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Aug 28, 2008 at 7:09 PM, michel milano <michel_milano at yahoo.com
>> >wrote:
>>
>> for a self-guided adventure in brainstorming, i would recommend the
>>> following (admittedly, it should be applicable to groups as well as solo
>>> tours). i have never understood why this books isnt on more book lists
>>> nor
>>> required to be in everyones shelves.
>>> perhaps it is simply too clear for audiences demanding controversy.
>>>
>>>
>>> The Universal Traveller
>>> A soft systems guide to creativity, problem-solving, and thd process of
>>> reaching goals.
>>> by Don Koberg, Jim Bagnall
>>> http://preview.tinyurl.com/5lu985
>>>
>>> Looks like you can read pieces of it in Google Books, too, which i
>>> hadn't
>>> known before finding this just now.
>>>
>>> http://books.google.com/books?id=aa9pt9MknUoC&dq=The+Universal+Traveller
>>>
>>>
>>> it is unabashedly humane and joyful about design, and outside the
>>> quibbling
>>> about definitions.
>>> maybe some attention can bring it back out of print.
>>>
>>> good reading,
>>> michel milano
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> > > Which of these techniques are suitable for *solo* ideation?
>>
>>>
>>>
>>
>

--
Martin Polley
Technical writer, interaction designer
+972 52 3864280
Twitter: martinpolley
<http://capcloud.com/>

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