Wildstorming is a group activity I developed in 2000; it is true play that leads to new breakthroughs, enhanced productivity, and better teams. I’d love for more people to take advantage of it. Wildstorming is the radical cousin of traditional brainstorming, as it turns the process upside-down and inside-out, where strange and bizarre concepts are the rule.
During a wildstorm session, team members suggest absolutely crazy solutions to the core issue which is being examined. Wildstorms are a great place to ponder ideas that are true overkill or prohibitively expensive. Wildstorm answers can deny physics and logic; they can be weird, fanciful, or even illegal. In fact, they can be impossible!
The main rule for a successful wildstorm is that the ideas should be anything but practical. Wildstorming is both an ‘ice breaker’ for thinking about a problem as well as an exercise for looking at a particular issue from a wide-variety of angles, especially non-traditional ones. The vast majority of remedies discovered during a wildstorming session themselves would probably never be implemented; nevertheless, wildstorms do lead to creative insights on the causes and effects of the core problem.
How It works!
Although wildstorms by themselves can lead the discovery of a novel answer itself, the following three-day process is recommended for the full impact.
Day 1: The method is explained to the wildstorm team, the problem is presented, and a 30-minute wildstorming session occurs. Every idea suggested, regardless how silly, is recorded by the scribe.
Day 2: This is the ‘share and rest’ day. The entire list of results from wildstorm are distributed to the entire team for review and deep reflection overnight.
Day 3: The same team is re-assembled to have a traditional brainstorm on the exact same problem. This second session will have the new goal of trying to generate a brand new pool of ideas that could be translated into real-world solutions. You will be pleased by the results of following this entire three-day process. Do not be surprised if bits and pieces of formerly crazy ideas from the wildstorm session are recycled to form novel, workable, and superior solutions.
The Bottom Line: Wildstorming is play that leads to true breakthroughs, enhanced productivity, and better teams.
P.S. Laughter is encouraged. Wildstorms are fun as they are exercise for the mind when trying to solve hard problems.