I did a second Ideation session at Barcamp06 on popular demand from the Techies. They found the "Reverse your Assumptions" session very cool and they wanted to learn more. I chose two demonstrate the power of two very simple tools - "Yes and" & "Yes if". I had learnt it from two Disney Imagineers in a Disney Creativity Workshop. These are great tools for triggering creative thinking in a group. I used it recently at Xchanging (Bangalore) with Tansen's Six Sigma team and it was great fun.
"Yes and" - A problem is posed - the first person shares his Idea - a second person says yes and .... - i.e he accepts the first idea and adds a little more to it - it is a small increment that strengthens the idea further. The second person's idea is not too different but it builds up on the first Idea. By the time idea goes through one round it becomes real strong. This tool encourages you to build up on the previous idea, In the absence of this tool, each person tends to give a new idea in a different direction. Stengthening of ideas does not happen naturally.
Lets us go for a movie - yes and we will eat out - yes and desserts at baskin Robbins - yes and we will invite Shreya too - yes and we will pick her up from work - yes and ...
"Yes if" - How do you respond to an Idea that sounds impractical - do you reject the Idea ?
you could tell that
Shankar's Idea is good ... yes if we are given 1 yr time to market and $1M budget - yes if the lab is ready by Jan - yes if the equipment can be run round the clock - yes if we can hire atleast two technicians....
This tool makes you think about the conditions under which an idea makes sense. It moves you away from a judgemental thinking mode and forces you to think about implementation aspects.
Use "Yes and" and "Yes if" when you want to trigger creative thinking in a group.