PMI – Plus, Minus, Interessting

illustration of positive and negative thinking

PMI is a creative thinking method that allows individuals or groups to evaluate a claim, opportunity, or provocation by exploring positive and negative aspects and identifying interesting points to move forward with. It aims to facilitate forward thinking, avoid conflicts, and support idea processing.
PMI is particularly suitable for evaluating prospective opportunities and generating new ideas.


1. Set the Stage:
– Gather a group or prepare yourself for the creative thinking exercise.
– Introduce the concept of PMI and explain its purpose and benefits.
– Select a claim, opportunity, or provocation to focus on. This will be the focal point for the exercise.

2. Positive Phase:
– In this phase, the goal is to identify and explore only positive characteristics, benefits, or aspects related to the focal point.
– Emphasize that during this phase, no negative comments or aspects are allowed.
– Encourage participants to brainstorm and share positive ideas, solutions, and perspectives.
– Write down or document all the positive points that are generated.

3. Negative Phase:
– In this phase, the focus shifts to identifying and exploring only negative characteristics, drawbacks, or challenges related to the focal point.
– Emphasize that during this phase, participants should refrain from mentioning anything positive.
– Encourage participants to brainstorm and share negative ideas, limitations, and concerns.
– Write down or document all the negative points that are generated.

4. Interesting Points and Resolution:
– Review and discuss the positive and negative points generated in the previous phases.
– Look for aspects that stand out or seem interesting from both perspectives.
– Try to find ways to resolve or turn negative points into positive ones, if possible.
– Record the interesting points along with comments explaining why they are intriguing or valuable.

-Provide participants with example statements to practice the PMI method.
– Examples can be questions such as:
– “All cars have square wheels”
– “All meetings should be filmed”
– “Teachers are paid according to how much students learn”
– “All bikes are free”

Additional Considerations:

– Encourage an atmosphere of positivity during the positive phase, ensuring that no negative comments are accepted at this stage.
– Use a neutral pre-example if necessary to stimulate thinking and help participants understand the process.
– Pay attention to the most negative points and try to find resolutions or ways to address them.
– After completing both phases, consider discussing how it felt to shift from positive to negative thinking and its impact on the overall process.
– Explore the possibility of using the PMI method in regular meetings to stimulate creative thinking and evaluate ideas effectively.


Remember, the PMI method is designed to encourage a balanced evaluation of ideas and foster constructive thinking. By systematically examining positive and negative aspects, you can uncover interesting points and make informed decisions or generate new ideas.