There are two exercises I use with my teams all the time: Think Tank and Blue Sky
This is a great strategy I use to develop new magic, but it can also be applied to a business setting. It may sound a little confusing at first read, but you'll understand it more if you do it in real-life.
Invite ten people to a meeting and have everyone sit around the table. Hand them each a piece of paper, a pen, and have them write down an end-result to a potential trick, but not the method.
After every person writes down a different end-result (for instance "saw someone in half" or "make a one dollar bill turn into a twenty dollar bill"), you hand your paper with your end result to the person to the left of you.
The person to your left now has your idea. But you now have in front of you the end result to a trick from the person on your right that just handed you their end result.
Now you have to write down how you would accomplish their trick.
You do this for one minute. After the minute is up, you then pass the piece of paper to the person to the left of you again.
You now have a new piece of paper in front of you with a new end result plus the other person's solution written underneath -- now you write down your solution, but you can't repeat any methods that were already written by other people.
You repeat this process for ten minutes.
That's how you can create 100 different potential solutions to execute an idea -- all under ten minutes!
Here's how you can adapt it to a business setting:
A team of entrepreneurs could gather together and each write down different “problems” or “obstacles” they experience in their day-to-day lives. As the timer begins, each entrepreneur must write down a solution to the other entrepreneur’s challenge.
In addition, you could also have employees write down internal problems they have and/or solutions to achieve those problems, or marketing campaigns for clients.
Blue Sky Concept
This isn't necessarily a "100 ideas in ten minutes" exercise, but it can be extremely useful when you don't want to have bias in the creative process
If you haven't, I highly recommend it. It's one of the most popular television shows throughout history. Great comedy, great writing, and great acting.
But how have they become so successful? Here's one reason:
The producers give the writers before every season a pack of sticky notes three months prior to the big writer's meeting where they'll discuss the direction of the upcoming season.
The writers will then carry that pack of sticky notes wherever they go. Whenever they have an idea for the season, they'll write it down on a single sticky note. It could be when they're going for a hike. It could be when they're reading the morning paper. It could be when they're attending a sports game.
Here's the thing - no idea is a good idea and no idea is a bad idea. What does this mean? Anything goes! For instance, the characters all move to Mars. The characters all die from heart attacks. The characters burn the building down.
And when the time comes for the big writers meeting, everyone brings in their pack of sticky notes filled with ideas. And then they trade their pack with someone else.
And they trade again.
And they trade again.
Now every writer has a new stack of sticky notes, but they don't know who owns it.
Then they will put each individual sticky note with the ideas all over the wall so the room is filled with sticky notes surrounding them.
The group will then go through every.single.idea. They won't disregard any of them. They accept all of the ideas first and aren't biased since they don't know who created the idea.
After going through ALL of the ideas in the first round, they then filter them down into the usable ones.
Then the process continues.
What's the lesson here? Don't play the Devil's Advocate too soon or you will discourage people from pitching ideas. This exercise helps others not be biased in the creativity process on who developed the idea and allows their mind to be open for more possibilities.
Let me know how they work!