thiagi.com Freebies Training Games DOUBLE BRAINSTORMING
If you have a group of 30 participants, it is a good idea to divide them into teams to ensure increased participation. Instead of organizing static teams, you can also keep rearranging them to prevent premature groupthink.
Let's assume that you are facilitating this group of 30 participants to brainstorm ideas for increasing sales in your organization. Here is technique for profiting from convergent and divergent thinking:
Give each participant an index card with a letter-number combination. Then ask the participants to find the others with the same letter and form themselves into five teams of six members:
A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6
B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6
C1, C2, C3, C4, C5, C6
D1, D2, D3, D4, D5, D6
E1, E2, E3, E4, E5, E6
Assign a different role to each team (example: marketers, customers, designers, producers, and engineers) and ask its members to brainstorm ideas in the perspective of that role.
After a suitable pause, stop the activity and ask the participants to find the others with the same number and form themselves into six teams of five members:
A1, B1, C1, D1, E1
A2, B2, C2, D2, E2
A3, B3, C3, D3, E3
A4, B4, C4, D4, E4
A5, B5, C5, D5, E5
A6, B6, C6, D6, E6
Point out that each team is now a diverse team with its members representing five different roles. Ask the teams to continue brainstorming, with its members maintaining their individual role perspective. Encourage the participants to "cheat" by recycling ideas from the earlier session.
Ask each team to prepare a list of five recommendations. Combine these recommendations, remove duplicates, and ask each participant to individually select the top five from the common list. Use these selections to identify the top five recommendations.
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Revised: October 1, 1999