The science is about liberating your creative “right brain” whilst preventing your logical “left brain” from getting in the way. If you master that, you will be able to become far more creative in a fraction of the time, solve insurmountable problems and make clearer decisions. It is amazingly powerful – but rarely used. Why? Because people think it is too good to be true. Well I’ve used it on and off for years, and it is easy and stunningly effective and it just plain works. Have a go!
The approach is sometimes called Two Minute Thinking, and is in part derived from work by Ken Hudson and his book “the Ideas Accelerator”. It works like this.
1. Clearly define the challenge/issue/problem you want to get ideas for
2. Get someone to time two minutes and to write down all the ideas you come up with – without challenge or question
3. Get them to be fierce and pushy so that you feel the pressure of that 120 seconds. But not to judge, just to hassle you and stop you going off into detail
4. Then start the timer and shout out as many ideas as you can in the time
5. At the end, review them and decide which are useful and worthy of development
It’s that easy. Try it! Pick something easy as a trial – where to go on holiday, or what you could get your partner for a birthday present.
So why isn’t this more widely used? Well, simply because it SO effective and SO different. We have been programmed to have three-hour sessions, with white boards, pens, coffee, creative tricks using dictionaries and random ideas, and so on. Doing that in two minutes? Well, it’s not proper, it’s… well, cheating. Isn’t it? No, of course not. But you might feel embarrassed to have brought people together and booked that room for the day, to find you’ve come up with great ideas by 9.30.
How does it work? Well it overcomes all the self-talk that happens in slower think-tank sessions. We’ve all experienced these sessions: you might have an idea, but then you doubt if it will work, or it might make you look silly, or someone else will probably say it better, or you want to ponder on it and see how discussions go… and so on. The two-minute thinking approach powers straight through all that. Your “logical left” brain won’t be able to keep up or protect you in the way it feels it should (“Chimp Paradox” ideas), and yes, you will come out with some right drivel. But you will also come up with some real diamonds – diamonds that a slower constrained mind might never allow to surface.
JUST TRY IT! Two-minutes – that’s it. Less than it takes to make a cup of tea or log back on to Facebook.
Some hints and tips:
I’ve found it works best with one recorder and just one or two people generating ideas
Do not develop or refine or review the idea until afterwards – keep the pressure on for those two minutes for more ideas. Push, push, push!
My experience is that people generate 9 ideas on average (but I’ve seen 2-15), and of those, 1-2 will be great – and ones you might never have come up with otherwise. And 1-2 will be laughable…
Let me know how you get on!