5

This fun Friday (or any other day) exercise turns ho-hum ideas into bigger, more dramatic ones. We call the exercise “Shrimp” because it’s typically applied to small, leftover ideas (much like Japanese Steak House chefs save a few shrimp to throw at the meal’s end). Here are the steps:

1. Take 5 or 10 of your smallest, weakest, or run-of-the-mill ideas to reach your business objective.

2. Select an authority figure (it can be a boss, the board of directors, or a regulatory body) that could shoot down any new possibilities emerging from these ideas. The more distinct and well-known the authority’s personality the better.

3. Use your starter ideas to create incredibly outrageous possibilities by asking, “How could we turn this idea into something that supports our objective but that our authority figure would COMPLETELY HATE or would make them THROW UP?” Remember, you’re going for GENUINE ANGER, not just discomfort; it’s okay to think inappropriate, embarrassing, even illegal possibilities. Go for at least 3 – 5 new possibilities for each starter idea.

4. Then, for each new outrageous possibility, ask the following question to bring it back to reality: “How could we carry out this concept in ways that are acceptable, realistic, feasible, or actually able to be implemented?” Don’t settle for less than 10 new concepts from each outrageous idea.

These new, more mainstream ideas will benefit from being stretched beyond the boundaries of normal thinking. They typically take on a surprising richness and depth by having been run through “Shrimp.”

Also by encouraging your group to engage in thinking outside conventions under which it normally operates, the exercise creates both great ideas and great fun! What more could you want for a Friday!

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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5 Responses to “A Friday Shrimp Special”

  1. Heidi says:

    Great article to look at the tiny or ho-hum ideas.  By brainstorming perhaps one discovers an something that was never considered before. Also, an item that might have been small in the past, might be an emerging issue currently. Thanks again for another awesome article!

    • Mike Brown says:

      Thank you Heidi. Shrimp not only helps you uncover potential in what seem to be throw away ideas, but it’s one of the most fun exercises to do in person with a group!

  2. Mike Brown says:

    Thank you Heidi. Shrimp not only helps you uncover potential in what seem to be throw away ideas, but it’s one of the most fun exercises to do in person with a group!

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