In a recent article from one of the designers at continuum, the idea of innovation occurring when disagreement happens is laid out. Daniel Sobol, puts forward 5 things you need to keep arguments in line with the creative process. One that particularly stood out to me was the paragraph about saying “No”.
He suggests that where traditional brainstorming is mostly about building on the ideas of others and using the improv technique of saying “yes, and…” leads to a nice group dynamic, the power of saying “No, because…” can lead into a dialogue of critical thinking. This is an interesting idea and something I am keen to see how well it works. I think the value of this technique maybe after an actual brainstorm session has occurred and you are more in the mode of evaluating the ideas you have come up with and maybe looking for the best to build upon. My biggest concern would be controlling the group dynamic of criticism and keeping people from feeling to personal about the responses. I would also think that it could easily lead the generation of ideas to a halt as you analyze each idea in your mind. Still it is an interesting idea and I think with the right people and teams it can be an effective tool in brainstorming.
He outlines the other techniques to help in this augmentative approach as,
No Hierarchy. No one rules the ideas, and everyone is welcome to add to the idea pot.
Say “No, because…” Find another perspective that proves the original idea wrong. Say Why.
Diverse perspectives. T shaped people, and diverse backgrounds brings fresh perspectives.
Focus on common goal. Make sure everyone remembers the purpose and point of the exercise.
Keep it fun. Fun and happiness help people think and create outside the box.
Maybe when combined with all these other aspects he outlines the concerns I have disappear from the group. Still an interesting article and something I would love to try sometime.