2 – Think and Explore

Take time to come up with good, fresh and helpful ideas. Choose one to take forward.

Explore ideas

The second stage is about engaging your brain and heart in different ways to come up with ideas that will help serve the needs discovered in Look and Listen.

Produce many ideas

In your team, take 20-30 minutes to produce as many ideas as you can. Stop.

  • Don’t discuss or judge ideas yet – just allow the group to write down or share their ideas.
  • Build on everyone’s ideas (For example, one person suggests an idea, and others take up the “Yes! And ...” challenge, offering something that builds upon the original idea).
  • Keep pushing your brain for more ideas. Your 10th or 30th idea might end up the best one!
  • Add a random object or word into the brainstorm (examples: blue, sandwich, cloud, octopus). Try to create more ideas using this word as a launching pad.

Capture everyone’s ideas in a visible way. Use what you have: boards, small notes, large sheets of paper. Google Jamboard is a good free online tool for brainstorming ideas. It is especially useful for virtual FlashLabs.

Rest and forget

Your brain has been made by our God to be incredibly creative. What is amazing is that your brain is at its most creative, when you are NOT trying to be creative!

The next step in this stage of the FlashLab is to leave the brainstorm and focus on something else!

  • Rest
  • Go for a walk or play sport
  • Do something different

Let your brain do its work while you are focused elsewhere. You may discover that you produce your best ideas in the shower, when you are running, or when you wake up. This is your amazing brain doing its work in the background.

Write down any new thoughts or modifications to build on existing ideas that ‘pop’ into your mind.

Play with ideas

Play is a valuable exercise for the ideas your team produced in the step above.

Choose three of the ideas:

  • One that seems easy and practical
  • One that seems outrageous or difficult
  • One in the middle – not too easy or too hard

Here are some ways to play with ideas. You can find more information in the FlashLab Toolkit.

Bend an idea by imagining what it would be like if:

  • It was upside down – for example, instead of one big event, you had many small events.
  • If it was shrunk – instead of a 50-page manual, you made one with only two pages.

Break an idea by dividing the idea into its parts and:

  • Rearrange the parts back into a new order.
  • Discard one part and see what you have.

Blend ideas by:

  • Blending two of your different ideas together.

Juggle these two ideas around in your mind and see what they might become.

  • Look at an idea through a different lens such as the perspective of a child, an ant, or from high above.

Choose ideas

Once you have played with the ideas, take time to pray, think and choose what you will develop.

How to choose a good idea

Some of these aspects might be helpful in choosing which idea to take forward:

  • After prayer, can you identify which one God would have you make?
  • Which idea is going to best serve the needs and the people you identified in stage 1?
  • Which idea excites you most?
  • Which idea is achievable in the time you have?
  • Which idea stretches you and takes you into creating something unique?