Try Brainwriting for a fresh approach to idea generation.

As a Creative Facilitator, you are forever wondering about new ways to engage your resource group and tap into their creativity. Brainwriting can be used to ignite creativity and enhance collaboration.

Originally popularized in Germany in the '70s, Brainwriting involves the generation of ideas in a group setting while participants are silent. The technique can get the "same old, same old" ideas out quickly, while increasing participation from people who might otherwise not push to have their ideas heard. It's also an efficient way to generate lots of ideas in a relatively short period of time.

Brainwriting can be used in the Ideas or Development steps of the Creative Resources Process and happens for a set period of time in one of two ways:

  1. Individual ideas that are not shared with other group members.
  2. Interacting ideas that are shared for participants to build upon one another's initial ideas.

Individual Idea Brainwriting requires you to read the marketing objective (Ideas Session) or the top idea (Development Session) and ask participants to work individually to write down ideas on index cards or sticky notes. After a set period of time (10-15 minutes), ideas are gathered and added to the list.

In the Interacting Idea Brainwriting technique, participants work silently to build on one another's ideas.

One technique is the "Pin Cards" method as taught by Arthur B. VanGundy. It goes like this:

  1. Remind the resource group of the marketing objective (Ideas Session) or the top idea (Development Session).
  2. Ask the participants to write an idea on an index card or sticky note and pass it to the person on their right.
  3. Invite the group to start with a fresh card or sticky note and:
  • Use the other person's idea as stimulus for a new idea.
  • Use the other person's idea to think of a modification.
  • Just pass the card on to the next person.


Contact Creative Resources for more fresh techniques.