In this brainstorming exercise delegates learn to come up with ideas separately and then together as a large group. The brainstorming technique helps those who are more comfortable in smaller groups to contribute while still taking advantage of large group creativity and brainstorming.
Brainstorm on a problem in a small group and display your ideas for other groups to see and evaluate.
What You Need
- A large wall, a whiteboard or a series of panels to allow each group to brainstorming and present their ideas by displaying it on their respective walls. Ideally, you need to physically separate the groups so each can come up with their own ideas without overhearing other groups or seeing their results too early.
- Materials such as large papers, pens, pins, magnets, etc. so groups can place their ideas on their allocated walls.
- Ask the group to consider a common problem to solve or assign a problem for the purpose of this exercise.
- Divide the delegates to groups of 4 or 5.
- Assign an area of the wall or a panel to each group and provide the necessary materials.
- Ask each group to brainstorm on the problem and then display their ideas on their walls. Their aim should be to “sell” their ideas to other groups so there is an element of presentation skills required as well in this exercise. The end result can look much like a poster session in a conference, though without the polish and style as there is not a lot of time for that in this exercise.
- Allocate 15 minutes for this stage.
- After the allocated time, ask each group to visit all the display’s created by other groups one at a time and evaluate them. They should take notes so they can be prepared for the discussion stage.
- Allocate 15 minutes for this part.
- Bring back everyone together and follow with a classic round table brainstorming session. Ask groups to vote for the ideas they like the most or if they think a combination of several ideas is the way forward.
- Allow 15 minutes for this final brainstorming between all groups.
- Follow with a discussion.
Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes
Activity: 15 min group brainstorming + 15 min evaluating other groups + 15 min final brainstorming = 45 minutes
Group Feedback: 10 minutes
How effective was the Display Your Ideas brainstorming technique? Did you all feel that you could comfortably contribute to your small groups? Did you end up with a combination of ideas as the final solution? What variations would you consider for this brainstorming technique that makes it more ideal for your specific industry or work style?