You can use this exercise to get a group of people practice brainstorming and participate in constructive discussions. Delegates will go through a case study which can be applicable to just about anyone while still creating complex challenges. This exercise is also flexible in the choice of brainstorming method used or alternatively you can leave it to the delegates to decide. For example, you can use this exercise after explaining a particular brainstorming method such as mind mapping, six hats, Delphi method, etc., and then evaluate the performance of the delegates based on what you have discussed in the course. This exercise is ideal if all delegates are from the same organisation, though you can also use it when delegates are not from the same place.
Perform a brainstorming discussion on the subject of relocating the premises of the company or branch.
What You Need
- A copy of “Scenario” provide below for each delegate.
- Divide the delegates to groups of 3 or 4.
- Explain that they must brainstorm over a particular case study and come up with solutions. If they need to use a particular brainstorming method, this is a good opportunity to brief them on it.
- Provide a copy of the scenario to all groups and ask them to read it.
- Everyone in each group should consider the following:
- They should assume that they are employees of the company mentioned in the scenario.
- They can act as themselves based on their own personal and professional requirements while they discuss the challenge with others. For example, someone might have two young kids in school and provide feedback to the group based on this. Alternatively, each person can take a fictional role and present as such.
- Allocate 15 minutes for group discussions.
- Encourage use of various methods such as leadership, positive influencing, abstaining, playing devil's advocate, intimidation, etc. so groups get to practice on a range of possibilities when brainstorming and learn how to handle others, for example when they are uncooperative.
- While discussions are underway, listen to each group and make appropriate suggestions to guide them or help them correctly use the brainstorming techniques.
- After the allocated time, ask everyone to get back together and then ask one group at a time to present their conclusion or selected course of action.
- Encourage a discussion between all groups to see how they defend their positions. This in turn is another opportunity to see how a large group performs a brainstorming discussion and if they can participate in a constructive discussion.
- Follow with a general discussion about the brainstorming.
Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes
Activity: 15 min group discussions + 15 min analysis = 30 minutes
Group Feedback: 10 minutes
What brainstorming methods did you use? How easy was it to convince others of your ideas? Did you come up with novel solutions that could satisfy most people’s needs? Did you come up with a third option in addition to the two provided in the scenario? Did someone play devil’s advocate? How effective was it?
Could you read other’s position through their body language? Did you manage to agree with each other easily or did you find it difficult?
The sales of your company have doubled in the last year and there seems to a lot of potential for its growth. The top management has decided that it is necessary to move to a larger building so the company can expand. In addition, marketing analysis shows that it is ideal to move the company to a larger city nearby to compete better with potential rivals. Hence, the management is considering two options.
- One option is to move the company to a different city about 100 miles away. Naturally, this can have significant effect on everyone’s lives considering personal and professional commitments of people. However this allows access to more clients, better access to supply chain and a faster potential expansion.
- Another option is to stay in the same city but move to the outskirts to obtain a large building. However, this reduces the prestige of the company as it is no longer located in a prime location in the city centre and many of the drawbacks such as slow supply chain would remain the same which can because problematic in the future as the company attempts to expand significantly.
Your team is tasked to analyse this and brainstorm potential solutions. Feel free to be creative about the company, the need to expand and the ways you want to address the challenge. This is an open ended scenario and the purpose of the exercise is to see how you approach it rather than what solutions you come up with.
Training Resources for You
Course Design Strategy
Available as paperback and ebook
Free Training Resources
Download a free comprehensive training package including training guidelines, soft skills training activities, assessment forms and useful training resources that you can use to enhance your courses.
Our Comprehensive Guide to Body Language
Train the Trainer Resources
Get Insights - Read Guides and Books - Attend Courses