Brainstorming Tools on Steroids: Using Triggers to Stimulate Ideas

Triggers are a more effective way to brainstorm.

Most people are familiar with brainstorming, the process of coming up with as many ideas as you can to solve a problem or create something new. Brainstorming is a way to turn off your brain’s judgment center for a little while and just churn out ideas — options that you may or may not accept as valid at a later time.

Brainstorming can yield a new idea from a fresh perspective that can lead to innovation, new product concepts, and solutions to difficult problems. When used over and over again, however, even brainstorming can become stale and less effective.

How Triggers Amp Up Brainstorming

The one thing about brainstorming that can be a weakness is that it’s too open-ended. Some people respond well to open-ended brainstorming, but most find that their thoughts get so disorganized that not much of value can come out of the jumble. They either end up with a lot of really out-there ideas – or none at all.

One way to maximize the effectiveness of brainstorming sessions is to use triggers – specific prompts or methods that can focus brainstorming like a laser focuses light. Triggers take some of the options out of the picture so that you can focus on those that are more likely to yield acceptable material. Triggers can also give your thoughts a framework so that they can go where you want them to go.

There are many ways to brainstorm effectively.

Using Triggers In Brainstorming

There are many different kinds of triggers for brainstorming. Triggers may be images that can be used for free association, a certain way of gathering data like brainwalking with keywords or aspects of a problem, or creating an imagined scenario like dealing with a given situation in an alternate universe or as a different person.

A simple way to use triggers is to brainstorm ideas, then take a few of them and brainstorm on them for even more ideas. Triggers can range from simple to more complex, like listing all the assumptions in your situation and then challenging each one. Success expert Brian Tracy says that asking focused questions is the best way to trigger great ideas.

Triggers bring the brainstorming process closer to ideation, which introduces stimuli (triggers can be one) into the process to focus and channel it toward ideas that will actually be helpful to the process. Just being in a group ideation workshop can be a trigger since people naturally come up with ideas better when they can bounce them off others.

Using triggers can lead your business or organization to more innovation and greater effectiveness in the development of new products, ideas, and services. Ideascale is a platform that can make ideation a reality even across distances and different locations within a business. A team that works remotely can go through the same ideation process as a team that works together in the same office or building using Ideascale’s innovative platform. Request a demo of Ideascale to see how it could help your business or organization.

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