Only because some good ideas have come out of a brainstorming session, doesn’t mean all the people participating there are super intellectual. You can also learn to make your ideas productive. Brainstorming is just a process like any other that can be taught, learned, and shared.
Lafargue points to three main phases to build a better brainstorm:
Know the user:
When it comes to solving a problem, it’s more important to know who you’re trying to solve the problem for than the problem itself. You have to go out into the world and talk to people about the problem, and everything else will follow.
“You can’t just understand your users’ needs—you need to actually relate to them,” said Lafargue.
This is quite a popular maxim in the business world now. The concept of 10X thinking is trying to improve something not by 10%, but 10 times. Lafargue used “Project Loon,” an initiative for getting everyone on the internet as an example of it. The 10% solution here would be installing more fiber cables, but a 10X solution includes a network of physical balloons traveling on the edge of space, planned to connect people in rural and remote areas.
Lafargue says you might be convinced to schedule another brainstorming session just after having one. It’s a common mistake with which most brainstorming sessions end. But in Google, their first target is to get a prototype out there as fast as possible. It’s important to take immediate action and turn the idea into a physical form. “It doesn’t have to be perfect, just a physical manifestation of an idea that’s designed strictly to answer the most immediate questions and test our first assumptions about an idea that seems promising,” she said.
In the picture above you can see some Googlers brainstorming at Google Garage, a shared space where people go and experiment with anything, starting from some shredded materials to 3-D printers. It is situated in At the Googleplex in Mountain View, California.