Are you tired of using the same brainstorming techniques when trying to come up with new ideas and concepts for your business? If your answer is yes, welcome to the club! We’ve all been there and although the struggle is real, there is help coming your way.
We are ERYIA, an online language school from Croatia that is participating in the Start@Best program through our project “Eryia Evolves”. Among many activities we have been doing to implement the program and innovation into our daily business operations, we have especially enjoyed doing workshops on innovation and various methods we can use to foster a creative and productive working environment. Our latest workshop was held by our professor Marko, where he taught the rest of the team on how we can use the Upside Down Thinking technique to analyse our business and future ideas. We loved the concept and how it was presented to us, so we wanted to share it with all of you to help you find new ways of analysing your ideas.
So how does this technique work?
The Upside Down Thinking technique is also called “reverse brainstorming” or “opposite thinking”. The goal is to turn the thinking/analysis we are used to ‘upside down’ and thus gaining new insights into problems, challenges, ideas and opportunities that may arise.
The first step in using this technique is to make a list of several assumptions about your problem/topic/concept. After that for each of those assumptions you need to write an assumption of opposite meaning. And finally, you need to come up with a solution for each of the assumptions of the opposite meaning.
If you put this into practice, you will get something similar to the table below. Note that you should first fill the first column, then the second, and finally the third.
This simple exercise was just one part of our workshop, but it has helped us to understand the technique before applying it to our business model. And we have to say, not only did it offer some light-bulb moments for us, but it also helped us connect as a team. Because of it, we were able to pinpoint some challenges in our business model that we haven’t seen before. The next step for us is to implement the solutions we have compiled as a team and see how we go from there. What’s more, we will certainly use this technique in our new projects, workshops and classes to improve our services and encourage as many innovations in the workplace as possible.
Now that you’ve got the gist of the Upside Down Thinking technique, check out this free tool. You can download it to start practising this technique with your team ASAP. Let us know in the comments how it goes.