This week I went to a client strategy workshop hosted by Ken Hudson which utilised ‘speed thinking’. Essentially, speed thinking is an activity which you have two minutes to come up with nine different answers to a problem or question.
According to Hudson, nine is the highest number of possibilities you can generate in two minutes without ‘filtering’ – that mind talk that prevents us form actually speaking and sharing our ideas as we have already decided in our heads that it is stupid.
The important part is to get all these ideas out first (on paper or orally) and filter as an active second step.
We can naturally find two or three possibilities for any given situation, but asking for nine in a short period requires pure stream of consciousness ideas, and with less time for internal judgement we get more outside the square, creative.
I really like the time-constraints around this for generating information and ideas. It appeals to the digital nerd in me who likes lots of content in a short amount of time; YouTube and Ignite are two great examples of this.
I tried this speed-thinking out on two colleagues at Deloitte, Innovation Director Matt McIntyre and Senior Analyst James Sanders, around possibilities for “getting things done in organisations”.
For organisations, speed thinking can be an expedient practice in generating innovative solutions to ongoing issues, such as “How could we improve brand awarness in XYZ market at low cost?” It’s also a really great way of synthesising lots of information into a digestible format and training your mind to think differently, as the Deloitte guys showed.