One on top of the other
Solitaire is a game played with a clear objective.
“The first objective is to release and play into position certain cards to build up each foundation, in sequence and in suit, from the ace through the king. The ultimate objective is to build the whole pack onto the foundations, and if that can be done, the Solitaire game is won.”
In both Solitaire and brainstorming, the process is accretive. Each card needs to be examined to see how it fits with the one before. Brainstorming works best in an environment where ideas contribute to one another – where the thinking process is “yes and”.
Shuffle the deck
Some great ideas come fully formed in a flash of inspiration. You or the team don’t need to get “unstuck”. It’s also possible to play a hand of Solitaire, laying down the whole deck in one go.
Most of the time you wind up with cards that don’t fit and you need to shuffle. I’ve come to think of idea generation tools as a way to shuffle the mental deck when you get stuck. All the ideas are in our heads, but they aren’t being presented in a way that fits.
Idea generation tools
If you are in the ideation phase and you and your team just can’t “lay down the whole deck of cards”, this is where the various idea generation tools like SCAMPER technique and the 40 Principles of Inventive Problem Solving get used.
Idea generation tools invite you to “reshuffle” your thinking with provocative questions like what if it was bigger, less expensive, weightless, upside down, if we did this before that etc? What if we put different ideas adjacent to one another?