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Sitting in on a production meeting at 3H and listening to how the team is trying to come up with an innovative idea for a new project caused me to recall a video I had watched in my Design Thinking class. The video was titled “The Deep Dive” and was about the employees at IDEO, a design firm, who were devising a plan to redesign the shopping cart. As with any of their projects, the employees at IDEO stress the importance of brainstorming to help create the best idea. The most interesting part of the video, and the one that seemed most fitting to this production meeting at 3H was IDEO’s acceptance and encouragement of wild ideas. The video reveals several ideas the team comes up with and emphasizes the need to build on wild ideas in order to ultimately achieve something innovative. This type of brainstorming was referred to as “focused chaos” and I have come to understand its practical application here at 3H as the team strives for innovative and creative ideas in everything they do.

The idea of brainstorming has peaked my curiousity of the actual origin of brainstorming. I visited Google for a little help to learn that Alex Faickney Osborn was the first to introduce group-thinking sessions to generate more ideas. He essentially set the technique of brainstorming into action. Osborn developed 4 rules to follow:

  1. Focus on quantity
  2. Withold criticism
  3. Welcome unusual ideas
  4. Combine and improve ideas.

Looking at these ideas, and comparing it to the brainstorming methods at IDEO and 3H, it is obvious to see that we continue to apply Osborn’s method as we search for the perfect answer to any and every problem at hand. It is with these unrealistic and diverse thoughts that we can step back and see what elements can be combined and eliminated to develop something new and creative.