Discover what the 100 Ideas Exercise is and see a example for design thinking in this post.

The 100 ideas exercise is a high-energy brainstorming technique designed to generate a large number of ideas in a relatively short period of time. The aim is to encourage free thinking, creative problem-solving, and pushing beyond obvious solutions. The goal in this exercise is quantity, not quality. You want to encourage participants to throw out ideas as fast as possible without self-censoring or critiquing. Learn more about this approach below!

Steps in 100 Ideas Exercise

Here’s how the exercise typically works:

  1. Choose a topic or problem: Select a specific area or challenge that you want to generate ideas for. It could be anything from brainstorming marketing strategies to finding solutions for a personal project.
  2. Set a time limit: Decide on a specific time frame for the exercise. It can be 30 minutes, an hour, or any other duration that you feel comfortable with.
  3. Start generating ideas: Begin writing down ideas related to the chosen topic or problem. The key here is to focus on quantity rather than quality. Don’t judge or filter your ideas at this stage—simply let your mind flow freely and record any thoughts that come to your mind.
  4. Keep going until you reach 100 ideas: Push yourself to keep generating ideas until you reach a total of 100. This might be challenging, especially as you approach the later stages, but the exercise aims to push you beyond the obvious and encourage more creative and unique ideas.
  5. Review and refine: Once you’ve completed the exercise, take some time to review and evaluate your list of ideas. Look for patterns, connections, or any standout concepts that could be further explored or developed.

You can think of this exercise as a warm-up activity to stimulate creativity and encourage some “out-of-the-box” thinking. The sheer volume of ideas generated will increase the likelihood of  your team finding innovative and valuable insights to discover the right solution.

100 Ideas Exercise Example

So, let’s get started with generating 100 ideas on the challenge of how you might incorporate design thinking into your team training:

  1. Run an introductory workshop on design thinking
  2. Invite a design thinking expert to speak
  3. Organize a design thinking boot camp
  4. Develop a design thinking training manual
  5. Implement design thinking into team building exercises
  6. Hold regular brainstorming sessions
  7. Create role-playing exercises for empathy building
  8. Develop persona creation workshops
  9. Run empathy mapping sessions
  10. Create a design thinking online course
  11. Include design thinking in onboarding processes
  12. Design a company-wide design thinking challenge
  13. Develop a design thinking toolkit
  14. Design prototyping workshops
  15. Create a design thinking case study library
  16. Organize cross-functional design thinking workshops
  17. Create a design thinking webinar series
  18. Hold team-building activities focused on ideation
  19. Develop design thinking mobile applications
  20. Incorporate design thinking into performance metrics
  21. Start a design thinking book club
  22. Implement a mentorship program on design thinking
  23. Create a design thinking podcast
  24. Include design thinking in your leadership training
  25. Make a design thinking video tutorial series
  26. Organize field trips to innovative companies
  27. Collaborate with design schools for guest lectures
  28. Organize a monthly design thinking challenge
  29. Develop a reward system for innovative ideas
  30. Implement a peer-learning program about design thinking
  31. Design an in-house design thinking certification program
  32. Incorporate design thinking into employee appraisals
  33. Include design thinking discussions in team meetings
  34. Provide resources for self-paced learning on design thinking
  35. Create an innovation lab within your office
  36. Use collaborative software tools to facilitate design thinking
  37. Organize workshops on specific design thinking tools
  38. Create a design thinking newsletter
  39. Implement customer journey mapping workshops
  40. Incorporate design thinking in problem-solving sessions
  41. Implement design thinking sprints
  42. Organize ideation sessions with sticky notes
  43. Conduct user interviews to instill empathy
  44. Organize a design thinking hackathon
  45. Offer an ‘innovation hour’ each week for design thinking exercises
  46. Start a design thinking roundtable discussion series
  47. Design a design thinking quiz or game
  48. Host cross-departmental design thinking sessions
  49. Launch a design thinking shadowing program
  50. Create a design thinking Q&A forum for employees
  51. Facilitate storytelling sessions to build empathy
  52. Incorporate design thinking principles into company values
  53. Develop design thinking challenge cards
  54. Organize an annual design thinking conference
  55. Create a virtual reality experience for prototyping
  56. Organize rapid prototyping sessions
  57. Develop an idea bank for design thinking exercises
  58. Launch a user-testing workshop
  59. Design thinking exercises during lunch breaks
  60. Encourage sharing of failure stories and lessons learned
  61. Organize design thinking coffee chat sessions
  62. Implement design thinking training for managers
  63. Create a design thinking ambassador role
  64. Launch a design thinking-themed team-building retreat
  65. Run A/B testing workshops
  66. Host joint ideation sessions with clients
  67. Implement design thinking in product development process
  68. Create a design thinking ‘thought of the day’
  69. Organize design thinking training for new hires
  70. Run a design thinking ideas competition
  71. Create a design thinking wall of fame
  72. Host a design thinking “dragons den” for pitching ideas
  73. Develop a ‘design thinking success stories’ series
  74. Implement a design thinking “buddy system”
  75. Organize design thinking training with partner companies
  76. Facilitate a digital prototyping workshop
  77. Run a design thinking masterclass
  78. Host a “design your life” workshop based on design thinking principles
  79. Organize weekly “design critiques” for ongoing projects
  80. Run sessions on “design thinking vs traditional thinking”
  81. Implement design thinking in sales and customer service training
  82. Create a shared design thinking resource library
  83. Organize a design thinking charity challenge
  84. Host a design thinking film screening (e.g. “Objectified”, “Helvetica”)
  85. Implement reverse brainstorming sessions
  86. Run a design thinking internship program
  87. Organize design thinking “lunch and learn” sessions
  88. Launch an innovation mentorship program with a focus on design thinking
  89. Host an “innovation day” where employees apply design thinking to their work
  90. Implement design thinking workshops for remote employees
  91. Create a design thinking YouTube channel for the company
  92. Facilitate a design thinking escape room activity
  93. Run a “redesign the office” design thinking exercise
  94. Organize training on using design thinking in virtual meetings
  95. Facilitate a “redesign your job” workshop using design thinking
  96. Implement a design thinking exchange program with other companies
  97. Launch a design thinking speaker series
  98. Develop a design thinking training module for the company’s learning management system
  99. Run a session on how design thinking can improve work-life balance
  100. Create an annual award for the best application of design thinking.

Remember, the idea of this exercise is not just to create a large number of ideas but also to spur creative thinking and encourage participants to challenge their boundaries of creativity. Some of these ideas might be immediately actionable, while others might spark a different, more feasible idea. This is a powerful activity to do for your own creating brain. ChatGPT can also do it for you if you need ideas quick!

Conclusion: Improve Brainstorming Sessions with the 100 Ideas Exercise

It can be difficult to get started with creative problem solving and brainstorming. The 100 Ideas Exercise is just one method of generating a large number of ideas in a short amount of time. While not all the ideas will be great, they can often help you reach the right solution for your challenge or problem!

For more helpful articles related to innovation, design thinking, and creative problem solving, continue to our blog! If you are interested in learning more or getting help developing a custom innovation workshop or design thinking training session, Innovation Training can help. Contact us online today to learn how to get started.