Brainwalking

A variation of the brainstorming method. In this case iteratively ideas are being developed individually by the participants.

»Generate Lots of Ideas!«

Number of ParticipantsFacilitatorsCategoryDurationLevel of Difficulty
5 per Group1Empathize, Define, Ideate20-30minSimple

Description

Brainwalking is a classic brainstorm variant, which helps activate all participants and potentially enables lots of ideas. In the brainwalk, each participant or group writes a single idea on a flip-chart, which is placed on a wall. The other participants then visit the flip-charts and silently further develop the ideas or add new ones. This way Brainwalking is based on the principle of cross-pollination by having the participants build upon each other’s ideas in a structured way, where you get to utilize all the knowledge and creative input of the participants in the room.

Materials

  • Sticky Notes
  • Flipcharts
  • Pens, Pencils

Preparation

No preparation needed.

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Have the participants using “How might we?” phrase.
  2. Present the Rules:
    1. Defer Judgement
    2. Go for Volume
    3. One conversation at a time
    4. Encourage wild ideas
    5. Build on the ideas of others
    6. Stay on topic (stick to the “HOW” problem)
    7. Be Visual-Communicate your ideas for other participants by sketching
  3. Provide a flip-chart sheet to each participant or group.
  4. Instruct the participants to write clearly to avoid confusion.
  5. Taking turns, have each participant contribute one idea that they wish for the other participants to relate to and, where possible, to build upon.
  6. Have the participants circulate to the right past each flip chart and build upon and develop new ideas based upon the flipchart’s idea/content.
    1. The participants may write words, draw symbols or drawings
    2. Use approx. 1 minute per flip chart. Remember: In this part of the brainwalk there is no talking .
  7. Keep the participants circulating until each paper includes 6 or more ideas.
  8. The post-processing ( Group):
    1. Each participant intuitively selects 3 of the ideas that they consider to be the most promising.
    2. If he/she has selected three suggestions, they must now sort out two of the suggestions so that only one favorite remains.
    3. Once all favorites have been selected, the group decides on a further selection.
    4. Then, ask the owner of the original idea to present it to the rest of the group
  9. The post-precessing (Individually):
    1. Each participant intuitively selects 3 of the ideas that they consider to be the most promising.
    2. If he/she has selected three suggestions, they must now sort out two of the suggestions so that only one favorite remains.
    3. Then, ask the owner of the original idea to present it to the rest of the participants.

Remarks, Tips, Limitations

  • This can be done either with individuals or multiple groups.
  • Individuals are better at generating ideas than groups.
  • Groups are better at selecting the best ideas
  • In both cases, there will be a moderator who will introduce the workshop and collect the feedback.

References

Brainwalking: Through movement to a brilliant idea [https://www.gruenderlexikon.de/checkliste/suchen/geschaeftsidee-suchen/kreativitaetstechniken/brainwalking/]


The Method of Brainwalking by Innovation [https://innovationenglish.sites.ku.dk/metode/brainwalking/]

Brainwalking: In Search of Better Brainstorms [https://trainingmag.com/content/brainwalking-search-better-brainstorms]

Contributed by Muhammad Hamza.