This week’s post is about an ideation tool called the Lotus Blossom.

This colorful & simple tool is like Mindmapping on a grid. It helps people go deeper / get more creative than a standard brainstorming session. Also, engineers tend to LOVE this one.

The photo below shows an example of a partially filled-out Lotus Blossom. To get started write the topic, problem, or concept you’re working on in the center box. In the example I wrote Culture Change. In the 8 colorful boxes around it (A-H) write down facets of the problem / topic / etc. In my example, I wrote understand the current culture, define the new culture, leadership’s role, and so on.

Next, expand the blossom from the central box to the outer boxes (aka the blossoms). To do this, just copy the words from the middle grid to the lettered boxes on the outside of the grid. You’ll see the word Current in the white box in the upper left corner.

Then add the next level of detail in the colored boxes around each blossom. So Current Culture might involve doing a survey, performing interviews, and documenting our research results.

Keep going until you’ve filled in all the boxes.

Full instructions and a downloadable template are available here