A method that use brainstorming to generate bad solutions to the problem, and then see how those could be transformed into good solutions. One way to generate ideas is to generate good solutions through brainstorming. But negative brainstorming takes a different angle on that. The method is a two-step process that consists of first generating the worst solutions to the problem. Later transforming them into good solutions. This can be a fun way to use brainstorming in a silly manner, to work solving problems from a different angle.
This method encourages you to explore new solutions through negative thinking. This gives you new angles on plausible solutions, from using the things you thought where not useful.
A group is tasked with finding solutions to the question ‘How could you make children and grandparents understand each other more?’ In negative brainstorming the group tries to find the worst solutions, and then transforming these into useful solutions.
These are examples of bad solution:
- To build a wall between old and young people.
- To put them in two different buildings so they never meet.
- Make a machine that really distracts the youngsters so they don’t want to spend time with the elders.
A transformed bad solution would be:
- Create a retirement home with a kindergarten in the middle. The elders could then come by and help when they have time.
The facilitator is there to give the group instructions for the brainstorming session. It is the facilitators role to make sure that the work is conducted according to rules and frameworks established by the group.
- How was it to brainstorm on really bad solutions?
- How can this be used in different contexts?