In one of those journeys that can only happen on the web, where link-leads-to-link, I discovered Oblique Strategies. The idea of Oblique Strategies is that disruption increases creativity. Disrupting the patterns we live and work by, allows our brains to take notice and generate something different. To break the pattern or shift your brainstorming session, try one of the prompts: “Emphasize differences” – “Use an old idea” – “What mistakes did you make the last time?” – “A line has two sides”- “What are you really thinking about just now?”
The original Oblique Strategies appeared on a card deck. These have since been translated to the web, iPod, etc. Try a prompt today!
Resource: Organization Development Processes
The quickest way to improve brainstorming sessions is to put away anything with a keyboard.
Why? research in neurobiology demonstrates that using our hands to write and draw transforms experience. Manipulating a writing instrument activates multiple neural pathways: visual, spatial, sensory, and motor including both sides of our brain as we process graphical and factual data with multiple senses. Drawing on a flip chart or paper with colored markers to draw images alongside the text activates additional neural pathways. Employing a writing instrument, creates attention and focus as we form letters and pictures, looking at where the instrument touches the paper. Even the hand we’re not writing with is active in keeping the paper aligned.
[With a typewriter …] the word no longer passes through the hand as it writes and acts authentically but through the mechanized pressure of the hand. The typewriter snatches script from the essential realm of the hand – and this means the hand is removed from the essential realm. The word becomes something ‘typed.’ … Mechanized writing deprives the hand of dignity in the realm of the written word and degrades the word into a mere means for the traffic of communication. Besides, mechanized writing offers the advantage of covering up one’s handwriting and therewith one’s character. – Martin Heidegger
Writing with pen, pencil, or marker is an embodied experience that increases learning and generative thought processes. What impacts of this research can you imagine for writers? Educators? Trainers? Strategists? Designers?
For inspiring ideas on going analog in brainstorming, check out Duarte’s photos and blog post about advanced stickynoting.