How to brainstorm using the How Now Wow method

Have you been stuck on a project for a long time and having a hard time getting creative? Get out of trouble by conducting a reflection and brainstorming session.

Depending on the complexity of your project, you can use sticky notes, brainwriting, or even reverse brainstorming to generate ideas. However, if you have a strict deadline and limited resources, you have to get creative.

This is where the How Now Wow (HNW) method can help you. Brainstorming new wealthy people will narrow down your ideas based on criteria such as feasibility, uniqueness, or timelines, letting you know which ideas are worth pursuing.

What is the brainstorming method how wow now?

The HNW method includes a matrix in 2X2 format. The X axis indicates the originality of the idea, and the Y axis, the feasibility of the concept. Each idea is categorized as normal or innovative on the horizontal axis and easy to implement or difficult to implement on the vertical axis.

This creates three classes: How doAnd currently, And Wonderful. You then organize each idea you came up with into one of these groups. But before we move on, let’s understand what each of these categories means.

  • How doThe ideas in this category are innovative but difficult to implement. You may need more money, time, or people for them. That’s why you should only add futuristic ideas to this category.
  • currently: This has ideas that are known to the team and can be worked on efficiently. So if you’re looking for some quick wins, follow the concepts in the Now category.
  • Wonderful: The ideas in this category are unique and easy to implement as well. So if your goal is quick innovation, try to get as many ideas in this category as possible.

How to use the How Now Wow Matrix for brainstorming

HNW Matrix on Miro

Each team is given 30 to 60 minutes to complete this matrix. Then, based on the originality and complexity of each idea, you need to categorize it into one of three sections.

At the end of the activity, you want to leave out the most unique and simple ideas (within the Wow category) for further development. If the project is complex, you can run multiple sessions until you achieve your goal.

Two ways to conduct an HNW session

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Whether you work with a small group in an office or a large global team, you can conduct a HWN session efficiently. You can do this with either pen and paper or the virtual whiteboard tools.

How to use the How Now Wow method in the real world

If your team is available in person, you can draw the HNW matrix on a flip chart or print the matrix template readily available online. You can shorten the ideas and write them in the respective category. Record ideas in the Wow category and pass them on to the relevant team for further development.

There are two downsides to this process. First, the result can be difficult to read if the writing on the board is illegible. Second, you have to take and keep multiple copies if you are doing many sessions.

How Now Wow Session

If you collaborate with global teams, you can use whiteboard software such as Mero or Google Jamboard. Miro provides a ready-to-use template for HNW Matrix that you can add to your Miro board. You can conduct and record your brainstorming session via Zoom or any video conferencing software.

Working online means you don’t have to worry about taking a bunch of print or illegible handwriting. However, you need to ensure that your team is familiar with the whiteboard software; Otherwise, you must take into account the time required to teach them.

Related: How to Use the 6-3-5 Brainwriting Technique for More Efficient Brainstorming Sessions

Get creative with thinking

The How Now Wow Matrix is ​​used for brainstorming sessions, team building exercises, or icebreakers. You don’t have to use it as is, and you can combine it with other brainstorming methods that suit your needs. This combination will help you narrow down the list of ideas even more and make the whole process more efficient.

However, before using this method, analyze whether it aligns with your goals. For example, if your requirements are simple, another thought process might be better. But if you need to work on many complex projects, you can use the HNW method to generate many unique and creative ideas.


An illustration of notes, people, and ideas
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