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The Smart Solution Book by Mr. David Cotton

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Tool 5

Reverse brainstorming

What the tool is

Standard brainstorming focuses on how to solve a problem, and the danger is that we bring to it preconceived notions of how something should work. Reverse brainstorming focuses on how to create the problem. After determining every possible way to make something go wrong, use the brainstormed ideas as a jumping-off point for thinking about how to get it right.

When to use it

  • When discussion of possible solutions to a problem yields pedestrian answers.
  • When you are trying to resolve a problem related to something that people constantly do badly or wrong.
  • When you are working with a group of people who have done something the same way for a long time, not considering that it could be done differently ...

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