It's easy to think that when you're brainstorming, you should come up with a list of possible solutions. Over on 99u, they suggest the opposite approach: think of new questions. Photo by Cesar Bojorquez.
Instead of thinking about what needs to get solved, think about what questions aren't being asked. 99u outlines an approach for this in a group setting that's a little silly, but it's just as applicable to smaller, non-organised meetings:
- Appoint a session leader.
- The session leader sets an area of focus for questioning (e.g. "The future of mobile photography")
- Team spends 10 minutes producing as many questions as we possible (Questions can start with "What is blocking…", "What is stopping.." or "Why…")
- Team spends another 10 minutes pairing up to share and improve their questions.
- Pairs then spend the final five minutes to prioritise their questions and present to the team.
- Team decides on three favourites to explore.
When you're all done, you should have a list of different approaches to a similar problem, and with the right question in hand, you'll be further along your way to a solution.