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Brainstorm Technique #6 – Brainstorm Go Round

DCF 1.0

DCF 1.0

Brainstorm Technique: Brainstorm Go Round

Ideas are often hard to explore in a large group setting because it’s so easy for one voice to get lost in the crowd. The quickest and most efficient way to further develop a concept in a group is with the brainstorm technique known as Brainstorm Go Round. In this method, you begin the brainstorm with two or more kernels of thought. Groups are challenged to brainstorm against each of these thought starters in successive order.

Ideal Activity For:
concept development, exploration of existing concepts

Brainstorm Tools:
1 easel pad for each idea kernel
permanent markers for each easel pad
medium to large sized meeting space

# of Participants:
8 – 15+

How To Brainstorm With Brainstorm Go Round:

  1. Review the Brainstorm Bill of Rights
  2. Review the Brainstorm Prep Checklist and answer the appropriate questions
  3. Develop the idea kernels in an individual or small group brainstorm. An exercise such as mind mapping would be ideal for this portion of the pre-brainstorm
  4. Gather supplies and book a medium to large sized conference room.
  5. Prior to the beginning of the brainstorm session, create individual ideation areas for each idea kernel. Ideation areas should be spread apart as much as possible, and each area should feature its own easel pad, markers and seating.

Brainstorm Intro: (approx. time varies by experience level)

  1. Review Brainstorm Bill of Rights with participants
  2. Establish the goal of the brainstorm by discussing the BrainBrief™
  3. Kick-off the meeting with an Icebreaker (if needed)

Brainstorm Part 1: (approx. 30-45 minutes)

  1. Begin by dividing your brainstorm group into smaller teams. To maximize the output, teams should equal the number of idea kernels you’re planning to develop and should be no smaller than 3 members.
  2. Give each group the idea kernel they will start the brainstorm session with and send them to one of the ideation areas.
  3. Ask all the teams to begin brainstorming ideas related to their kernel for 10-15 minutes.
  4. When the time expires, ask the teams to leave their ideation area exactly as it currently is and move one station to their right. In the new ideation area, each group will briefly review the previous group’s notes and begin brainstorming against the same topic. [Please Note: Each group has the option to build on existing ideas or generate unique ideas of their own.]
  5. In 10-15 minutes have the groups move one station to the right again. This process will continue until each group has visited each ideation area.

Brainstorm Part 2: (approx. 10-15 minutes)

  1. For part 2, have each group move back to their original ideation area and review the work of all the groups.
  2. After reviewing the collective work, invite the groups to select their favorite concepts to share with the larger group.

Brainstorm Part 3: (approx. 10-15 minutes)

  1. As the groups present the selected ideas to the larger group, invite participants to build and develop the shared concepts.
  2. Capture the shared ideas and any builds on an easel pad for future reference.


  1. Thank all the participants for their input
  2. Select concepts for further development  (can be done alone or as part of the group)
  3. Be sure to capture all the notes and take them with you. It’s often easiest to take digital photos of the easel pads for reference at a later date.

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