Brainstorming with Quantumplation

Effective brainstorming is reliant on being able to find different perspectives from which to view the topic.  Unfortunately we are creatures of habit and this does not come easily for us.  Fortunately there are tools which can help us achieve this.  Quantumplation is one of these tools.

A superposition is a quantum mechanical phenomena whereby qubits can exist in two states simultaneously.

A quantumplation is when we are trying to solve two different problems simultaneously.

Normally we focus on one particular task when brainstorming.  Let’s say it is trying to invent a better torch.  Our mind becomes focused on the idea of torches and our ability to see new perspectives becomes less the more we focus.

We want to break this.

Think of it this way.  How often have you had a breakthrough idea for something when you were not directly thinking about it?  Or how often has someone else entered the conversation and made a random comment (because they are not really interested in the discussion or the topic) and that has sparked a brainwave?  Or,  how often has someone else interrupted and said “have you thought about X?” or similar,  which you had originally not but all of a sudden start down a new and exciting path.

Chances are,  quite  a few.

The aim of quantumplation is to synthesize this experience in our brainstorms.  We want to force this powerful phenomenon rather than just leaving it to chance.

The process.

The process of quantumplation for brainstorming is very simple.  What we do is try and solve two problems or address two topics simultaneously.

We introduce some element of consistency however to keep a link and make it easy for the mind to take perspectives from one area and translate it to the other area.  You also want to do it fast so your mind doesn’t have chance to switch between what it sees as two different problems.

You can be very flexible in how you approach this.  Here are a few examples.

Common value

Pick a value such as simplicity.  You are now going to jump back and forth between the two topics stating an idea that can help achieve simplicity.

Cross over

Start off with one topic and state how part of it can improve the other.  The switch and do it the other way.  Keep doing this.

For example,  the two topics might be a website and a bike.  You might say the placement of brakes and gear changing levers on a bike could be placed to help exercise your fingers.  This would make using a mouse to navigate a website easier.  Or maybe a website can be designed with important little details on either side of the page.  Using it will train you to be aware of items in your peripheral vision.  This will help avoid crashes when riding.

Random Word

Pick a random word.  Now this random word is the basis for ideas relating to each topic.  Again,  jump back and forth between the two.

Mixed problems

Pick a problem or weakness from one topic and assume the other topic now has that problem.  How would you solve it?  Now switch and do the same again.  Then go back and pick a new weakness and keep going.

For example,  the two topics might be a students back pack and a computer mouse.  I start off by saying a problem of back packs is they get heavy when too many textbooks are in them.  Now I say what if my mouse was too heavy?  Then I say a problem with mice is that the buttons get dirty and not responsive.  Then I say what if the bag became worse as it got dirty? And so on.

Mixed Positives

Pick a positive from one topic and now come up with an idea to apply this to the other topic.  Then reverse and keep going.

For example,  the two topics might be a torch and a sports car.   I might say the sports car is fun to drive.  Now I ask what would a torch be like if it was fun to use?  Then I say the torch is useful as it is always there when I need it.  So I ask,  what would a sports car be like that was easily accessible? And so on.

Practice

When you first start brainstorming using this you are probably going to be limited in how far you go.  With practice however you will see that you can take these further and further.  This is when it becomes very powerful.  You will also notice that some of the examples were not very practical or were silly.  This is perfectly fine and is part of the process.  We are not limited to only having ideas that are practical or that are good.  We need to venture through the silly ones before we hit on the truly awesome ones.  Don’t be scared.  If you are having silly ideas then that means  you are leaving the path of the normal and this is exactly what we want to do.

Think of the silly ideas as the fuel that allows you to reach the awesome ideas and take your brainstorming to the next level.

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2 Responses to “Brainstorming with Quantumplation”


  1. 1 anju November 12, 2010 at 5:45 am

    it is exellent strategy. i want to know how i teach science at sec. level with brainstorming . i am begnier i need your help. thanks

    • 2 Ryan November 12, 2010 at 7:13 am

      Define some obscure and open ended problems that they need to come up with solutions for (And that they can handle given their level of knowledge and experience but challenge them to do further research if required) Divide the class into groups and see how many different solutions they can come up with. If feasible get them to actually implement some of the solutions and they may learn even more from the experience.

      What area of science by the way?


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