This is what Google has learned about how to improve brainstorming sessions

How to have the best ideas for innovation within your company? A method firmly entrenched throughout the business orb is the brainstorming : sessions that bring together a limited number of working equipment, in company, draw ideas of his brain and falling over on the table. The accumulative process, as have the theoretical processes, leaving the best ideas. Projects able to give new impetus to a company, to open new business channels, to create new prototypes, products and services.

Few companies can offer a record so bright in innovation and development as Google. The technology of Mountain View has grown over the past two decades as just another small and exclusive handful of US giants along Sillcon Valley. What began in the hands of a mere (and very good) search engine, it has led Alphabet, a huge conglomerate of companies dedicated to issues of all kinds, from robotics to smartphones, automotive or through pension plans.


Image Source: Google Image

How they have succeeded? Taking thousands of ideas, accumulated rainfall, creative monsoons have selected a small handful of large projects through a process of huge selection. Google has learned a lot from their brainstorming sessions, and does not hesitate to explain how perfected. The other day, in Fast Company, Veronica Lafargue, global head of Google Apps oriented work, counting the steps necessary to have a proper brainstorming. These are the keys to its success:

1. First go and analyzes your consumer

Or what is the same, “do not have ideas without knowing who you have them.”

In our collective imagination, “brainstorming” means ten people around a table with a notebook letting ideas come more or less orderly way his head. It should not be exactly true. For Google, there are preliminary steps. The key, go to the consumer. It may seem obvious, but it must not be so necessary. What have you learned them? It is easier to reach great ideas able to fix things if you have first spoken with people who want to offer your service.

Basically, every consumer has a problem, and requires different solutions. Google kicks the streets, asked directly, lists the challenges facing its users, with this, returns to the laboratory of ideas, and puts their equipment to work. For technology, it is essential to know whom to target. Otherwise, the brainstorming sessions are held in abstract and little dimensional spaces. Discover and think, not vice versa.

2. Now, get even, but not in any way

According Lafarque, a classic problem of brainstorming sessions is that they start the cart before the horse: thinking of solutions they can offer to their consumers before knowing the problems it faces. Having completed the first world, it’s time to do what it is supposed to be a brainstorming session: sit and have thousands of ideas.

Literally thousands. Google part of an easy idea to describe but very complex to implement: it is much better and more productive, in addition to its impact innovative level, think ten times better solutions you already have to do it on Ideas a large 10%. In other words: when Google aims to devise things 10 times better, breaks the boundaries of their own projects themselves. When limited to 10%, only marginally improving what you already have, its scope is constrained to the quantitative, to the possible.

The clearest example is the global coverage of Internet: if it were limited to 10% install 10% more devices. It is better and bigger to what you already have, ok, but it is very limited compared to Project Loon, the number of balls that want to take to the skies to provide connectivity to remote and forgotten points of the planet. That’s the “ten times” more than talking Google.

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Difficult? Clear. Lafarque lists some steps to get it:

  1. Pasa “no, but” to “yes, and also”: Build on the ideas of others, even if they are bad. In one session, many will be useless per se, but rather than discard them , Google is building them more useful from them.
  2. Ten many ideas: Many. All possible. In this part of the project, premium quantity.
  3. Be straightforward and concise: Or what is the same: try to synthesize all the ideas that go taking into headlines that could end up in the media. Summarizes the future and the time embryonic projects in a handful of words to clarify its focus and purpose.
  4. Strip illustrations: Drawing is a good way to land a good idea.
  5. Say no to the “incremental” solutions: Think big . No 10% yes to “ten times”. That is, Google teams always try to go to the most grandiose and impossible ideas to break the barriers as possible . In your experience, it is the best way to reach points before even you imagined. Innovate is also jumping into the void of exaggeration.
  6. Do not rush to judgment: It gives air time and space to grow ideas that the team has obtained the brainstorming.

Ok, and if you already have your idea, what is the next step?

3. Do not wait: if you have an idea, run it

Simpler than it seemed at first. Once you have reached the idea or the project you wanted from the beginning (but you never knew you wanted, hence the brainstorming), just do it. Lafarque recommends not wait, I do not compensator, do not let it catch dust in the trunks of innovation. Give a first step however small and give physical form: when Google comes up with an idea, create a model or a sketch, sketches do not let him die.

And that, in essence, is what has made Google the current Google.

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