How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Creative tools > Brainwriting
Brainwriting is particularly useful with a group of people who are somewhat reticent and would be unlikely to offer many ideas in an open group session such as Brainstorming.
It is also useful when everyone has different problems that they want to solve.
It also works well with large groups - there is no real limit to the group size.
Give everyone a brainwriting sheet
Hand out sheets as below, with space for a problem definition at the top of the page, and rectangles below into which ideas can be written. have as many rows of rectangles as will fit on one sheet of paper. Make the space in the rectangle big enough to contain an average suggestion.
Each person writes a problem at the top of the page. It can be a different problem for each person and it can be all the same for everyone, for example if you are all focused on the same problem.
If the ideas are for an individual, then they may put in their name, so the page can eventually find its way back to them.
Now each person passes on the sheet to another person, who writes down one or more ideas to solve the problem.
You can use different schemes here, including:
Early ideas in particular should be very creative, as they are to act as stimuli for later problems.
Keep going until you are done
The sheets are now passed on to the next person, who adds more ideas, using the existing ideas as stimuli where possible.
The sheets are passed around until they are filled up. You can then add more sheets or stop when a page is full.
Brainwriting enables people who have ideas but are concerned about voicing them in a broader group to anonymously make them visible. They thus do not have to 'compete' with others to be heard.
It also helps that all ideas are visible and can be easily scanned to trigger new ideas.
It can speed things up because everyone is offering ideas all of the time.