Brainstorming Rules

Much-needed tools for meaningful discussions, from the Design Thinking for Educators Toolkit, by Riverdale Country School and IDEO.

  • Defer judgment. There are no bad ideas at this point. There will be plenty of time to narrow them down later.
  • Encourage wild ideas. Even if an idea doesn’t seem realistic, it may spark a great idea for someone else.
  • Build on the ideas of others. Think “and” rather than “but.”
  • Stay focused on topic. To get more out of your session, keep your brainstorm question in sight.
  • One conversation at a time. All ideas need to be heard, so that they may be built upon.
  • Go for quantity. Set an outrageous goal—then surpass it. The best way to find one good idea is to come up with lots of ideas.