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Home » Methods » Negative Brainstorming

Negative Brainstorming

2-10, 11-40
1 hour
  • Digital whiteboard: Miro or Mural
Best Practices

Explanation of the method

  1. Present the idea or project: Provide a brief overview of the concept you are brainstorming about. Ensure that all participants have a clear understanding of the subject.
  2. Silent ideation: Give participants a specific amount of time (e.g., 5-10 minutes) to generate negative ideas silently. They should note down as many concerns or potential issues as they can think of.
  3. Sharing ideas: Go around the virtual room, asking each participant to share one negative idea at a time. Record these ideas in the digital template. Encourage participants to be concise and avoid discussions during this phase.
  4. After collecting negative ideas, facilitate a discussion to clarify any vague or unclear points. This can help uncover the root causes of potential issues.
  5. Transition the session from negative brainstorming to positive brainstorming. Ask participants to propose solutions or strategies for addressing the identified issues.


  1. Increased Creativity: The process of generating negative ideas often sparks creative thinking, leading to innovative solutions to overcome identified challenges.
  2. Problem Anticipation: Negative brainstorming helps teams anticipate potential problems, challenges, and obstacles early in the planning or project development phase. This proactive approach allows for better preparation and risk mitigation.
  3. Reduced Overconfidence: Negative brainstorming can help combat groupthink and reduce overconfidence in a particular idea or plan, leading to more well-rounded decision-making.


  1. In some cases, participants may generate an overwhelming number of negative ideas, making it challenging to address all of them or to differentiate between crucial issues and minor concerns.
  2. Without proper facilitation, the session might concentrate too much on the problems and not enough on developing practical solutions, leaving participants feeling stuck.

Advice from practice

  1. Encourage participants to ask questions and seek clarification from one another. This step can also lead to potential solutions or mitigations.
Please note that the tools and methods were created as of August 2024 and all Miro Boards are editable.
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