Generate ideas

 

   |Lotus Blossom

Focus the power of brainstorming using a structured, visual representation of ideas—pushing you to fill out every box with new ideas.

Session Length: 60+ minutes Group Size: 1-10+ people Prep Time: 10-20+ minutes

WHEN

Use Lotus Blossom when you need to quickly produce a large quantity of ideas or are exploring a range of facets of a problem, solution, or topic.

WHY

Help develop many ideas with a focus on quantity. This structured ideation method helps accelerate the process of coming up with ideas, and also makes the next step (sorting, assessing, filtering, etc) faster because the Lotus Blossom is a structured artifact where the ideas are already binned and organized. 

This tool also helps unlock creativity by encouraging users to go beyond the obvious “first thought” ideas and to instead come up with eight items for each blossom. We find that the 6th, 7th, and 8th idea tend to be the most creative. As a collaboration tool, this helps ensure the entire group is able to contribute and participate, with no judgment or unnecessary barriers.

HOW

Eight 3-by-3-inch squares are arranged around a center blossom. The center square of each blossom contains a concept or problem related to the other squares of the blossom.

STEP 1: Enter a problem to be solved, an item to be improved, or a theme to be examined in the center box (Box I in the example).
STEP 2: Brainstorm related components, solutions, or themes and put them in the boxes
immediately surrounding the center box (Boxes A-H).
STEP 3: Use the values from those boxes as the center of the eight lotus blossoms on the outer edges of the sheet. (You’re propagating ideas.)
STEP 4: Brainstorm related components, solutions, or themes, and enter these in the eight boxes surrounding each of the new center seeds for each outer lotus blossom. Try your best to complete all the blossoms to maximize ideas.
STEP 5: When the exercise is complete, you will have at least 64 new ideas to explore related to the original problem or theme. Review and determine which are viable or important to move forward with. Stormdraining may also be useful here.

Lotus Blossom |Worksheet

Download this tool to print out and start using with your team. Each download includes a tool description and if applicable, a template and example.