Does your team use a reverse brainstorming template? Teams often prefer sticking to what they know at the expense of flagging their creative process. Can negative brainstorming compensate for the shortcomings of traditional brainstorming methods?

What is reverse brainstorming?

Reverse brainstorming combines brainstorming and reversal techniques. It’s a different approach to idea generation and problem-solving that turns the creative process upside down. It urges team members to flip the perspective—the objective is to come up with factors that worsen the issue. Basically, it does the opposite of brainstorming, which is to find solutions.

Also called negative brainstorming, this tool enables you to determine the root causes of a problem. More importantly, it helps you develop alternative solutions to pressing issues in your business or organization.

The key point of this method is reversing the ideas to come up with better answers to tackle an obstacle. It’s good to use when the normal brainstorming process doesn’t work. Using a reverse brainstorming template can make idea generation more engaging and fun, especially for remote teams.

How reverse brainstorming works

Step 1: Define the problem

The first step to this technique is identifying the current paint points that are a top priority. If it’s a project, you can determine the problematic areas and include them on the list. For instance, when a team needs to increase sales, the biggest problem is how to attract customers.

Step 2: Reverse the problem

Once you define the issue, it’s now easy to think about the opposite outcome. If you need to gain more customers, then using the reversal technique, you must brainstorm the ways to lose customers.

Step 3: Collect ideas

Secondly, you need to brainstorm how to make these issues worse. Taking the example from the first step, making the problem worse could mean:

  • Providing bad service and displaying a problematic attitude
  • Sell poor quality and expensive products
  • Slow turnaround and delivery times

Collecting ideas after applying the reverse technique is the next step of this process. You can ask team members to list their thoughts about the problems, underlying factors, causes, and actions that make them worse. Every idea counts—it’s better to accept the thoughts everyone nominates to broaden the selection.

Step 4: Reverse the ideas

All the underlying concepts based on the ideas provided need to be flipped to get the best solutions. Using the reverse brainstorming template, you must come up with positive outcomes as opposed to negative brainstorming ideas. That means finding ways to prevent these happenings from coming true, such as:

  • Offering good quality and reasonably priced products
  • Improve the service system
  • Enhance the logistics process

Step 5: Identify solutions

After coming up with positive solutions, the next step is to evaluate the feasibility of each outcome. You should also consider the cost and impact and prioritize every idea according to your needs and resources. The solutions with the most potential should go on to the final selection.

How to use reverse brainstorming template in Boardmix

Boardmix provides the easiest reverse brainstorming template that’s easily accessible by all team members! Right off the page, you can see tabs corresponding to each step of the technique. Using sticky notes, you can fill in each section step-by-step until you come up with the best solution. Also, you can use the marker tool to tick off any item from the selection!

What makes this tool worth using is that it allows remote teams to engage in the brainstorming process. Everything happens in real-time online, so all participants can contribute without delay. It’s a convenient working style with almost no learning curve because of its user-friendly interface.

If your team faces a creative roadblock during brainstorming, you can give Boardmix a try!

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