The bad future brainstorm is very effective --and hilarious

Stuck? Use the Bad Future Brainstorm to Unlock Problem Solving Power

futures thinking step by step Apr 18, 2023

Sometimes, when you try to make a decision, there's a lot of ambiguous information leading to confusion. It can be a struggle to identify which trends to follow and what impacts to focus on.

However, one useful strategy to overcome this obstacle is the "Bad Future Brainstorm". It's a creative method that can help you identify problem drivers and come up with solutions.


Why it Works

The Bad Future Brainstorm , also known as the Worst Possible Idea method, is a highly effective method that can be used to get the creative juices flowing and help those not so confident in expressing themselves by flipping the brainstorm on its head. Instead of going for good ideas and putting the pressure on, the facilitator calls for the worst possible ideas your team can come up with. Doing this relieves anxiety and self-confidence issues and allows people to be more playful and adventurous, as they know their ideas are most certainly not going to be scrutinized for missing the mark.

Step by Step

Step 1: Identify the Problem

First and foremost, pinpoint the problem that you are dealing with. This could be anything from declining sales to increased customer complaints.

Step 2: Detach Your Company from the Situation

Next, remove your organization from the current situation. This allows you to see the problem from a neutral perspective, without the usual biases.



Step 3: Create a Worst-Case Scenario

Now it's time to think big and think bad. Exaggerate the problem and imagine all the catastrophic outcomes that could occur if the situation got out of hand. It's a creative process, so make it engaging and enjoyable.

Step 4: Discover the Driving Factors

From your exaggerated scenario, you can identify the key factors causing the problem. This step acts like a magnifying glass, giving you a clear view of what's really driving the issues.

Step 5: Brainstorm Counter-measures

Now switch gears and brainstorm potential solutions. Use the momentum and energy from your creative session to generate ideas for preventing the bad outcomes. Think about the actions that would make the situation even worse and then reverse them to find potential solutions.

Quick Tip: You can use a flip-chart to jot down these steps and speed up the brainstorming process.


Have Fun

I love facilitating the Bad Future Brainstorm, because its hilarious to get to suggest bad ideas. It's like watching the bloopers of a good movie.

It takes away the pressure of having to come up with the perfect solution. Instead, it encourages exploration of the problem from the worst possible perspective. That makes it so effective

This method helps to identify the main drivers of the problem, and triggers creative thinking for solutions. By turning potential negatives into positives, it provides a fresh, playful, and engaging approach to brainstorming.

So, the next time you find yourself stuck in a tricky situation, remember to harness the power of the "Bad Future Brainstorm" and turn the tide in your favor!

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