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Problem Solving Exercise: Brainstorm or Expert

Problem Solving Exercise: Brainstorm or Expert


Purpose

This exercise encourages creativity and helps delegates to come up with a larger variety of solutions. The activity also enables participants to evaluate and compare the influence and effect of using expert views in solving problems. This activity is suitable for groups of people who have access to Internet and phone during the training session.

Objective

Delegates to come up with solutions to a specific problem with and without the help from experts and sources of information.

What You Need

  • Flipchart/Whiteboard
  • Post-It notes for each group

Setup

  • Divide the delegates to groups of 3 to 4 people.
  • Give each group some Post-It notes.
  • Write down the problem you want the delegates to solve on the flip chart or whiteboard.
  • Select half of the groups and explain that they have 10 minutes to use the resources available to them such as Internet and phone to find more information related to the problem or even ask an expert for advice.
  • The other groups should use this 10 minutes to brainstorm and come up with solutions for the proposed problem.
    • You can take advantage of this opportunity to emphasise using specific brainstorming techniques such as using, Mind Maps, Belbin Groups, Six Thinking Hats, Lateral Thinking and so on.
  • At the end of 10 minutes, each group has 5 minutes to write down their best solutions on individual Post-It notes.
  • Collect the Post-It notes with the solutions from delegates stick them to the main flip chart or whiteboard.
  • Ask delegates to go to the flipchart and observe the solutions.
  • Get back together and initiate a discussion to find out the best solutions.

Timing

Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes.

Activity: 10 min brainstorm/expert advice + 5 min record it + 10 discuss = 25 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes.

 

Discussion

Encourage the delegates to have a discussion about the most effective way of finding solutions to a specific problem. Was asking experts and finding extra information helpful in coming up with more creative solutions? What was most helpful about this exercise? Was the generated solutions helpful and practical?