Sometimes conducting a highly-productive brainstorming session can be challenging. Whether it’s a juggling act of personalities and politics where the loudest voice in the room wins or it’s simply a matter of the format itself, there’s no shortage of ways to come out of a session empty handed.
One of our favorite techniques for generating ideas quickly and effectively is called Crazy 8s. This exercise focuses on generating as many ideas as possible within a short timeframe and then spending the remaining time converging toward the ideas that will have the highest potential impact.
How to use or facilitate:
- Give each participant a blank sheet of paper and a writing utensil, where they divide their sheet into 8 boxes.
- Set the stage with a problem to solve, or an objective to ideate on. You can do this collectively as a group, or each participant may have their own objective. What are you trying to accomplish? What would benefit most from a rapid burst of thoughts and ideas?
- Set a timer for 8 minutes, and ask the group to sketch 8 quick ideas, one in each box.
- When the timer is up, spend a few minutes having each participant pitch their top 3 ideas back to the group.
- Once everyone has pitched their ideas, all participants will be given 2 votes to cast on their favorite ideas out of the whole group.
- From there you can tally the results, expand on the top ideas even further, or immediately go prototype them and start testing them.
By setting a time limit and a clear objective, we force our creative thinking to generate ideas in rapid fire. Once the ideas are on paper, we can quickly assess and decide on the best ideas to prototype and test.