Know Your Brain Type and Get More Ideas

Know Your Brain Type and Get More Ideas - Innovation ExcellenceThis is another article about Quantum Idea Generation a process proven to generate at least 12 X more ideas than brainstorming. In previous articles, I’ve addressed the first two of four Quantum Idea Generation elements – diversity and stimulus.

This process was pioneered by Doug Hall of Eureka Ranch and built on by my team at Innovate2Grow Experts// Doug’s version 1.0 was confirmed in two Oklahoma State University studies to generate the 12 X more ideas. While we have not tested our version 2.0, we genuinely believe it will be about 20 X more ideas than brainstorming with most of the increase coming in much higher quality ideas.

There is a lot of research that suggests most people can be equally creative. You don’t need to be born creative. You don’t need to have some sort of special abilities.

Having said that, left and right brain people are very, very different in how they optimize their creativity. In projects we do for clients, we conduct a left and right brain assessment of everybody in the session (Google “left and right brain assessment” to get free assessment tools). While most of our clients are big businesses, you would be surprised at the number of mostly right brain groups we have.

We use this information to specifically design creative exercises that are either left or right brain focused. There are huge differences between left and right brain creative exercises.

Left brain people love creative exercises that have lots of factual stimulus, step-by-step instructions, and working in smaller groups. Right brain people love creative exercises that have lots of visual stimulus, have random and even apparently chaotic steps in the exercise, and love working in larger groups as they create.

Some years ago I was running a Quantum Idea Generation session with a group that was strongly left brain. I had started the day off with some traditional left brain exercises but the energy in the group was not where I needed it to be. I decided to shake things up by running one of the most right brain of the right brain exercises.

I was no more than five minutes into the exercise, when the senior person from the client spoke up and said, “Richard, do you have any idea what you’re doing?” While it’s not exactly what you like to hear from a client, in this case I knew I was achieving my objective. I responded, “Give me 10 more minutes and let’s see where we end up.” They were amazed that such a random and apparently chaotic process could produce the really big ideas that came out of this particular exercise. More importantly, it accomplished my major objective of energizing the group since they ended up having so much productive fun.

When we conduct a Quantum Idea Generation session, I have a more than 100 page playbook of creative idea generating exercises. While I have a specific plan for every day, the plan always changes and I call “audibles” during the session to use specific creative exercises that best fit the moment.

In decades of doing this, I have seen the magic of left brain groups and right brain groups when you use creative exercises that enable and allow them to be there most creative.

To learn more, you can listen to the Innovation Best Practices podcast (listeners in 91 countries)— Listen to episodes P1-P6, with episode P4 focused on left and right brain creativity.

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Richard has spent most of his career in and around innovation – senior leader at Procter & Gamble and Gallo, professor at Arizona State University, author of six books, and a successful entrepreneur in the innovation and creativity business. He’s a regular podcaster. Check out and Follow him @Innovate2Grow

Richard Haasnoot




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