Ignite Your Business Creativity with the Crazy Eights Brainstorming Method

For many business challenges, applying tried-and-true solutions is the most efficient and productive problem-solving approach. But when we face unique challenges that we haven’t encountered before and no one else we know has either, we’re in uncharted terrain. In these situations, our natural inclination is to focus on finding that one perfect solution as quickly as possible. Using that approach, we may fail to consider the possibility of other viable options. This is where the “Crazy Eights” brainstorming technique can be a game-changer.

The Crazy Eights method is a simple yet powerful exercise that encourages you to engage in “possibility thinking.” This phrase refers to the process of opening your mind to a wide range of ideas and possibilities, without immediately dismissing or judging them. By doing so, you tap into the creative potential of your brain, allowing it to make unexpected connections and generate innovative solutions.

Here’s how it works:

1. Grab a pen, some paper, and a timer.

2. Fold the paper into quadrants, creating eight sections.

3. Set the timer for one minute.

4. In each quadrant, quickly jot down an idea related to the problem you’re trying to solve.

5. Repeat this process until all eight quadrants are filled.

The key is not to overthink or analyze during this initial phase. The time constraint forces your brain to work quickly and generate raw, unfiltered ideas. These prompts can then serve as springboards for further brainstorming and refinement.

This technique can be done individually or as a team exercise. When done as a group, it promotes inclusivity by inviting everyone to contribute their unique ideas. It can also be a lot of fun to share the wide range of responses, which will boost team spirit. 

If you do Crazy Eights as a group, be sure to allow time for each participant to share their eight responses. You can then synthesize the results by categorizing, combining, or ranking the ideas based on feasibility, cost, or other relevant criteria.

Crazy Eights is a simple yet powerful tool. At first you may think, that whether you do it alone or with a team, it’s not realistic to anticipate you will come up with any good ideas in just eight minutes. But trust the process. Once you get into it, creative juices begin to flow. By embracing possibility thinking and allowing your mind to explore diverse ideas, you increase the likelihood of finding innovative solutions to the challenges your business faces.

If you would like more support in finding creative solutions to your biggest business challenges, let’s connect!

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