A business magazine was extolling the virtues of strategic doodles, which is really defined as scribbling absentmindedly, saying that it has gained credibility so much so that one Internet giant has appointed a chief doodler and give staff time to doodle and generate ideas.
Apparently doodling can help because when you draw your thoughts it slows down your thinking, allowing new perspectives and time to “go deeper following a particular thought”. Strategic doodling in teams or with business partners and clients gives them a deeper level of “ownership and understanding”. Apparently the term used for doodling has gone so far as “strategic doodling”, “visual thinking” and “graphic facilitation”.
I’m sure the academics and consultants will be on a good thing here. You may even find that there will be workshops and seminars on strategic doodling. Who knows? You could find special electives on how to doodle. Maybe they will start off with the history of doodling, examining its use in detail from ancient times, showing doodles on rocks by cave dwellers and also deep analysis of doodles that business people make in endless, dull management meetings. Some bright spark may well come up with a DVD set with 16 modules on how to doodle and 100-page workbook in which you can practice your doodles.
Strategic doodling may be a good way to express thought visually but whether it works as well to generate ideas such as mind mapping is another question. There are so many other idea generation tools such as SCAMPER, the Idea Grid, Lotus Blossom, Idea toons, Brute think, Cherry Split, Stone Soup, Rattlesnakes and Roses and the plain old vanilla personal brainstorming. If you want to learn more about some of these idea generation tools then you might want to get yourself a copy of THINKER Toys. This is a good handbook of creative-thinking techniques.
For those who haven’t used idea generation tools, it might seem childish and pointless. Why use these techniques to generate ideas when there are just as effective methods such as observation, questioning and listening? Some might even cynically say that you don’t even have to come up with new ideas; you merely have to copy ideas that are already working in the marketplace. But you have to be exceedingly cautious about this because you could run afoul of copyright, trademark and patent infringement.
Yet, if you do use these idea-generation tools effectively and are able to bypass the resistance that you will inevitably get from your left-brain thinking, which doesn’t like to dabble in the soft or warm right-brain thinking, you could be amazed at the results. Even a simple idea-generation technique such as a random idea generation method can yield pleasing new ideas and insights that you may not obtain from simple doodles.
If you are interested in learning more about idea-generation tools and creative-thinking techniques, buy my book “Breakthrough Ideas”. It has a selection of personal brainstorming techniques and shows you precisely how to use them to come up with new business ideas. If you haven’t come up with a new business idea in a long while and suddenly need to do so because of changing personal circumstances, you will find this resource useful. It doesn’t guarantee results; it’s up to you to get off your rear and use the techniques.
Should you have no time to read “Breakthrough Ideas” and want a private consulation, please email me.