101 Activities for Teaching Creativity and Problem Solving.Copyright © 2005 by John Wiley &
Sons, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. http://www.pfeiffer.com
- Organizational Brainstorms 
- In advance of an idea generation session, tell participants to use a small notebook
or other recording medium (such as a voice recorder or PDA) and write down
ideas to the challenge. Have them start this process at least one week prior to the
- Stress that they should write down ideas whenever they think of them and keep
their diaries easily accessible.
- Assemble the participants into small groups of four to seven and have them com-
pare notes. That is, have one person in each group report what he or she learned,
then have the next person do the same, but exclude any duplicate information.
- After all ideas have been reported, instruct the groups to select what they think
are the best three responses and report those to the large group.
- Have all of the groups discuss the answers they have heard and select the top
three of those.
- Tell the groups to pick the single best response, report it to the large group, and
select the best of all those reported.
- Collect all of the ideas, including those not selected during any step, organize
them into priority lists, and save them for evaluation later.
Have the participants discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using idea diaries.
Note that one advantage is the ability to rely on mental incubation to mull over idea
possibilities rather than having to think them all up at one time. Also consider having
participants debrief using the following questions:
- What was most helpful about this exercise?
- What was most challenging?
- What can we apply?
- How would you rate the value of this exercise to helping us with this issue?
- Will this exercise be helpful in the future for other sessions?
- What did you learn?
- What will we be able to use from this exercise?
- What ideas were generated, and which ones were most interesting?
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