One of the most effective techniques for generating really unorthodox ideas in a brainstorm meeting is the use of the random word which was described in this article. An alternative way to do this is with the use of a toy, Rory’s Story Cubes which consist of nine cubes each with six different images giving a total of 54 little pictures. When playing the game children or families roll all nine dice and then have to construct a story using all the images in any way they can. It is a surprisingly engaging game and fascinates children from the ages of say 3 to 13.
The same method can also be used in a serious brainstorm environment. I recommend that you roll one or two of the dice at random and then use those images as starting points for fresh ideas. As in the random word method, you should list some associations of each image first. Let’s say our challenge was how to increase brand awareness for a seaside hotel. We roll two of the cubes and they show a star and an arrow. First we list some associations of the words. Star might suggest celebrity, astronomy, night sky, space travel, sunshine and talent show. The arrow might suggest direction, red indian, archery, cupid and olympics. Now we generate ideas using any of these concepts or combinations of the concepts. For example:
- Invite celebrities to stay at the hotel and get photos of them into celebrity magazines
- A convention for astronomers
- Special weekends for star gazers with instructions from an eminent astronomer
- An archery competition on the beach
- An Indian Food festival
- Romantic weekends for couples interested in sports or fitness
- Local talent shows at the hotel
- A sunshine break for members of the Olympic team and their supporters
And so on. When we run out of ideas we highlight the most promising and then roll two different cubes in order to start the process again.
The process is fun and because we are using a child’s game, people are more relaxed and more creative.