Entrepreneur Denise Brosseau led us through two exercise on idea generation.
The first was a bit hectic, as the assignment was not totally clear to everyone. We all knew we were supposed to be talking about existing products, but many of us were coming up with new improvements/add-ons/etc for these already existing things - when we were actually supposed to be discussing other people's recent improvements to various technologies. We learned techniques that worked and several that did not. We were under an extreme time crunch, which force us to keep moving and really focus, but didn't give us any time to flesh out ideas. We also realized, too late, that our group was too large to communicate effectively. These were all the concepts she wanted to get - and we had fun in the process!
Our second exercise was to come up with new ideas for computers in 8 categories, things like globalize, futurize, and expertise. One of the women in my group quickly realized we had 16 people, so we then divided into brainstorming groups of 2. We were able to get a lot more ideas out and could each focus on a specific area without being inadvertently constrained by the other minigroup's thought branches.
This was a lot of fun & gave me a lot of ideas about thinking out of the box.