Systemic brainstorming uses problem and success-based brainstorming methods.
All (groups of related) problems and problem co-factors that are identified during problem analysis are subjected to brainstorming. This involves designing an ideal (prince) for every identified problem and problem co-factor (boiling frog) and then listing a series of strategies that are required to move the system towards the ideal.
The boiling frog is our symbol for a systemic problem, an analogy that is widely used in futures research. It refers to a frog sitting in water that gets gradually hotter. The frog apparently does not notice it until it is too late. Likewise, many problems are gradually increasing until an acute crisis appears (e.g. climate change, declining market share).
The prince is the symbol for the ideal we would like to put in the place of the frog, analogous to the fairytale in which the princess kisses a frog which then turns into a prince. We regard the princess as our intuition and the kissing as accepting (i.e. not denying or fighting) the problem which holds the potential for transformation.
Success-based brainstorming recalls past success of the system and its co-factors, explores the strengths of the system or explores the achievement of other systems.
These methods are symbolised by superman.
“One cannot solve a problem with the level of thinking that gave rise to it.” (Albert Einstein)
The frogs / prince method automatically shifts thinking to a different logic.
relevance for the change manager
It is our experience that very few persons are successful with open-ended design as advocated by “clean slate design” or “blue sky planning”.
By comparison, using problems to jumpstart creativity inspires and makes most persons creative, besides being fun. It also satisfies the “realists” who are often uncomfortable with “unrealistic” brainstorming.