Here are some of the benefits we can leverage from Online Brainswarming.
- It is difficult to get a global company/organization on the same conference call let alone around the same table. With Brainswarming, simply post a graph with a problem and have people contribute to the graph. Post a problem graph at night and wake up the next morning to see what your colleagues in Paris contributed to it--and then you can contribute more.
- No more long lists of ideas that can easily be forgotten. A online Brainswarming graph keeps track of a visual history of the problem solving activity in a structured manner so nothing is forgotten and the graph gives it a place.
- For best results, contributions need to be succinct. In person, the size of a Post-It notes limits the text. Online, perhaps a 140 character limit will enforce brevity. This reduces reading time, keeps the graph from unnecessary clutter, and encourages what Michael Nielsen calls microcontributions (in his book "Reinventing Discovery"). He found that microcontributions correlated with more effective group work.
- In the online version, software will offer nuanced variations of a contribution that may lead to an insight. For example, for a real problem we solved "adhere a coating to Teflon," our software offered new ways to phrase the goal such as "attach layers" which moved us away from chemical solutions implied by the verb "adhere" and toward a novel magnetic solution.
- In the online version, software will run in the background to suggest connections, unearth unnoticed assumptions, and uncover overlooked features of the problem. Because any innovation is built upon at least one commonly overlooked (i.e., obscure) feature of the problem (from my dissertation work), I have devised many automatic ways to reveal the obscure (which tend to be overlooked). Disclosing more of the obscure leads to more innovation or, as I like to say, innovation is putting the obscure to useful work.
Contact me for more discussion: email@example.com