Imaginary brainstorming


Imaginary brainstorming – specificity and procedure steps

This method is like Classic Brainstorming, but with a slight differences.

Basic Functions:

  1. Shifting perceptions: By considering absurd or unrealistic scenarios, participants can reframe their thinking and identify new possibilities.

  2. Breaking mental blocks: Imaginary brainstorming can help individuals overcome limiting beliefs or assumptions that hinder creative thinking.

  3. Generating novel ideas: The unconventional nature of the technique can lead to unexpected and original solutions

This technique serves to unlock creativity by liberating participants from preconceived notions and encouraging imaginative thinking. It is particularly effective in breaking through mental blocks and fostering unconventional solutions to complex problems.

Essence of the method:

Imaginary brainstorming taps into the power of the imagination to break free from conventional constraints and explore unconventional solutions.


Rules for imaginary brainstorming involve deferring criticism during idea generation, allowing for free-flowing thoughts, and avoiding self-censorship. Participants are encouraged to build upon each other’s ideas, creating a collaborative and supportive environment.

Procedure Steps:

1. The leader creates a problem statement. When defining the problem make sure that it has a subject – who is acting, a verb – the action, an object – who / what is being acted upon.
2. The leader conduct a traditional, classic brainstorming session.
3. Then, everyone suggests changes to some of the words to create a new problem statement, ideally one that is off-the-wall and bizarre.
4. They brainstorm again ideas for the imaginary problem and make a list of solutions.
The leader encourage participants to generate unconventional and absurd scenarios related to the problem.
6. Bridging the gap: The participant apply ideas from the imaginary brainstorming to the real problem statement. They try to identify connections between the imaginary scenarios and the real problem.
7. They analyse all of the ideas (real, imaginary and combined) and take forward those of most interest.


1. Encourages out-of-the-box thinking: Breaks free from conventional constraints and opens up new possibilities.
2. Generates novel ideas: Leads to fresh perspectives and unexpected solutions.
3/ Promotes collaboration: Encourages active participation and idea sharing.

Limitations and Disadvantages

1. Requires suspension of judgment: May be challenging for individuals who are not comfortable with ambiguity.
2. Demands creativity: Requires participants to think creatively and generate unconventional ideas.
3. Time-consuming: Can be more time-consuming than traditional brainstorming methods.