Brainstorming Techniques

All the Brainstorming Techniques on this page help you and your team come up with a wide range creative solutions to whatever problem you're looking to solve.

You can download a FREE Powerpoint or PDF of each activity when you click through to the tool's page

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Dennis Major - Independent L&D / OD Consultant

A really useful site with different techniques presented in an easy to use format.

Stakeholder Mapping
Stakeholder Mapping is a graphical illustration of how your stakeholders feel towards your change project or program. It helps you to identify who you need to influence and what action you need to take. It's one of the most powerful change management processes on WorkshopBank and a must-do activity for any project manager.​
The World Cafe
The World Cafe is a 20 year old workshop activity that draws on 7 design principles to create a simple, effective, and flexible format for hosting large group discussions for between 12 to 200 participants. The format is flexible and adapts to many different circumstances limited only by your imagination.
Problem Solving Team Building
Problems have a habit of being discussed to death. Everyone has an opinion. They all think they’re right. And they’re often unwilling to consider other options. Problem Solving Team Building (PSTB for short) is a 30-45 minute activity where the problem ‘owner’ will, with the help of their team, go through a structured process of brainstorming, issue analysis, and action planning to achieve a plausible solution to their issue.
Team Review Workshop & Dotmocracy
Team Review Workshop is an activity ready-made for any team meeting. It helps you build a shared understanding within a team about what is working well, areas in need of improvement and areas of opportunity. There is very little facilitation involved as it is easy for people to grasp what they have to do and why they are doing it. A great stimulator of conversation within the group.
Prioritization Matrix
Prioritization Matrix is a fun collaborative prioritization tool to compare the relative merits of alternative actions visually. There are elements of action planning, brainstorming, issue analysis and team building in this activity and one that I often use with teams as the conversation is always extremely focused.
9 Creative Problem Solving Tools For Your Next Breakthrough Idea
This is a suite of creative problem solving tools from Erik op ten Berg - an expert in creative thinking from the Netherlands. His creative problem solving process takes a challenge and finds ideas that are new, useful and meaningful. I guarantee you these activities will help you mobilise your group’s creative thinking skills.
Customer Journey Mapping
Customer Journey Mapping is a highly effective change management activity that helps you and your group reach a shared understanding on the key events, touch points, and activities that your customers receive. Once you have your map you can quickly and easily identify what’s working well (good practice) and not so well (areas for improvement).
How To Run Effective Meetings?
According to one study you’re going to waste 31 hours in unproductive meetings this month. This process will help you and your team run effective meetings every time. It helps your group reach a common understanding on what factors influence nightmare, good and brilliant meetings.
Fishbone Diagram
The Fishbone Diagram (also known as the Ishikawa diagram) is used to identify all the factors that have an impact on your problem. It is primarily an issue analysis technique but it also has a motivational and team building effect on participants as they go through the process. There’s nothing like building a shared understanding of a tricky problem to unite a team.
Open Space Technology
Open Space Technology (OST) is an event format used in meetings of 5 to 2,000 people, invented by Harrison Owen in 1985​. Participants create the agenda for themselves and facilitators lead and record the resulting discussions. There’s a twist in this version with the inclusion of a process that gives the organizers a little more control over the agenda. While keeping all the benefits the participants feel from ownership of the day itself.
5 Whys Root Cause Analysis
5 Whys is a root cause analysis tool for helping teams quickly get to causes of an issue before developing solutions. It’s a great team-builder because the group buys-in to the *real* problems as they surface during the process.
Brainstorming
Brainstorming is a structured process to capture a group’s ideas relating to a topic or issue. Having a structured approach to how you brainstorm increases the quality and efficiency of your efforts. The process below gives you that structured approach. If you use it you won't waste your participant's time and you'll get a lot of great ideas.
The Options Framework
The Options Framework is a structured brainstorming technique you can use with groups of up to 7 people to get a preferred solution to a difficult problem.
SWOT Analysis
At the start of a project / program it's important to get a handle on the current situation. Appreciating your strengths, studying opportunities, pinpointing weaknesses and identifying threats is a prudent way to kick you off in the right direction. Otherwise you may stop things that you shouldn't or spend time, energy and money on stuff that you really should be avoiding at all costs. A great activity to run with your team to achieve this is a SWOT Analysis.