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What If?

Perhaps the most classic of all creative questions – “What if …?”   is also a classic way to brainstorm ideas.

It’s a technique with multiple names:

I Wish … 

I Want … 

Wishing for Diamonds …

Regardless of the title, the technique is based on the principles of . The exercise forces you to look at the current situation from an entirely different perspective or point-of-view, allowing you to (re-)stimulate your creativity.

How To Use “I Wish”

1.  State the current desire, issue or opportunity as it relates to the prospect or problem.

2.  Participants write 3-5 different “wishes” about the prospect/problem. As a tip, be as crazy as possible.

3.  Everyone passes their wishes to the person beside them; keep adding until each page has 15-20 wishes.

4.  Call out the most provocative wishes.  Brainstorm how the team might make that wish come true.

Practical Examples of How To Use “I Wish …” 

Original Objective: To stimulate purchase of the new Sprocket headphones.

I wish … the target audience would love the product so much they wouldn’t ever take them off.

I wish … the campaign was so successful that Justin Beiber would retweet the news to his fans.

I wish … our idea was so dazzling it would win an Academy Award.

I wish … people would want our product so badly they’d camp overnight outside the store so they’d be the first to own it.

As with all brainstorm exercises, don’t get stuck. If one provocative statement doesn’t work, move on to the next, and the next. Remember too . You want as many ideas as possible because 90% won’t work, but within the total ideas generated, your best ideas will be in the remaining 10%. 

You can read about other brainstorm techniques by visiting the category of .

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What If?