a positive, open climate can do much to bring out creative ideas. High, medium, and
low also are used to rate activities on this factor.
How to Evaluate and Select Ideas in a Group
Once groups begin using the activities and generating ideas, they will need some way to
process the ideas and select the best ones. There are a number of ways to do this, such as
assigning a committee to narrow down the number of ideas or having participants vote
on ideas by ballot or raising hands.
One method that works well in a training environment involves using Post-it®Notes,
colored sticking dots, and flip charts and masking tape. The following procedure can be
used after most of the activities in this book in which participants have written down
ideas on Post-it Notes. It assumes that there is more than one group, but it can be modi-
fied easily for just one group. To do so, delete the stage where each group shares its best
ideas with the other groups.
- Prior to an evaluation session:
a. Place two flip charts on stands by each table, if they are not already there.
b. Make three signs using 8.5” x 11” paper and write lengthwise in capital letters
on each sign. On one sign, write, “BEST IDEAS,” on the second, “OTHER
IDEAS,” and on the third, “NEW IDEAS.”
c. Tape each sign to a separate wall in the meeting room. Place each sign in the
middle of the wall and about six feet from the floor. For the wall designated
as, “NEW IDEAS,” tape two sheets of flip chart paper directly below the sign.
d. Place on each table (for each participant) three sheets of approximately twenty
sticking dots representing green, blue, and orange colors (or other colors that
are different in hue (for example, orange and red might be similar in hue
while green and orange would be different).
- Tell the participants to use the flip chart on the left for ideas. (As a reminder, for
most of the brainstorming activities, participants will suggest each idea verbally,
write it down on a Post-it, and then pass it forward to be placed on the flip chart
by a facilitator (or placed by the writer). For brainwriting activities, participants
will write down all of their ideas on the Post-its without speaking and then post
them on the left flip chart.
- Emphasize that there should be only one idea on each note. If this is not the case,
direct the participants to make any corrections now.
- After all ideas for an activity have been placed on the left flip chart, have the
members of each group select their best three to five ideas for that activity. Tell
them to leave those ideas on the left flip chart and transfer the others to the right
- Instruct them to label, in capital letters, the top of the left flip chart “BEST IDEAS”
and the top of the right flip chart “OTHER IDEAS.” (This later designation
denotes that all ideas have potential to be modified or stimulate other ideas.
Therefore, there is no such thing as, “WORST IDEAS.”)
Linking Problems, Solutions, and Activities 29
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