“The way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas and throw the bad ones away.”This funny but true quote by Nobel prize winner Linus Paulings inspired me to continue the subject of brainstorming. Traditional brainstorming usually better serves people who come up with new ideas very quickly or born leaders who easily take up control in a group. There has even been a dance for brainstorming invented, which, in my opinion, is only for pure extraverts or an idea for a party game ;). That is why, this time, I would like to share two techniques with you, which might be especially convenient for introverts.
Materials: sticky notes, flipchart paper
The overlying goal of brainwriting is to separate idea generation from discussion. In the first step, each team member anonymously writes down several ideas on post-it notes. Anonymity is important in this process: it prevents personality bias and encourages the shyer team members to contribute. During this first step, people individually take time to formulate their thoughts and come up with the best ideas.
When the time is up, the moderator collects all the post-its and redistributes them randomly between the group members. In the next step, each one reads out one idea in turn. Others can comment and develop ideas. The rounds are repeated until the ideas run out.
Materials: A4 paper for each participant, pens
Each participant receives an A4 sheet and folds it into four parts. Individually, they draw or write one idea in each rectangle. In this technique, participants are encouraged to present their ideas in the form of drawings: this stimulates both hemispheres and boosts creativity. After 10 minutes, each participant has four ideas.
Now each person tears the paper to get four different ideas on a separate sheet. Then everyone shares their ideas, starting with the one they think is the best. It is not obligatory to share all ideas.
This method is excellent when you are under time pressure. People are asked only for four ideas, which speeds up the process and is also very comfortable. Sometimes a “the sky is the limit” approach may be overwhelming.
To find out more about creativity tools, please visit our Imaginarium toolbox.