It’s often easy to get fixed on typical ways to solve a problem. We get into a routine that can prevent us from more innovative thinking.
Here’s a simple exercise that can help generate a ton of new ideas.
- In a small group setting, define the objective you’re trying to achieve.
- Then flip the objective to the exact opposite. For example, if your goal is to increase sales, ask: “how can we decrease sales?”
- Have everyone in the group brainstorm ways to achieve that opposite goal. Post-it notes are usually the best way to collect the ideas. One post-it note per idea. Give everyone about 5 minutes.
- Line up all the post-it notes in a column on a whiteboard.
- Go through each one and write down the opposite of each idea on a new post-its and place them next to the original one.
- Expand on each idea.
Original: Ignore phone calls
Opposite: Pick up every phone call
– Come up with a funny standard greeting to get people’s attention
– Come up with a promotion where you randomly give callers a discount if they come in the store today
– Call loyal customers and thank them for their business