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Brainstorm Techniques #8 – 0-60


Brainstorm Technique: 0-60
Just like the name suggests, this brainstorm technique is all about speed. The point is to find 60 different solutions to the main question of your brainstorm session. Don’t worry about filtering your thoughts. As fast as the ideas are generated,  they should be recorded. Remember, speed is the key.

Ideal Activity For:
idea generation, headline exploratory, plot exploratory, product naming,

Brainstorm Tools:
For an individual: laptop or paper & pen

For groups:
1-2 easel pads or 4” x 6” sticky notes
permanent markers
tape or thumbtacks
small stickers

# of Participants:
1 – 6*

*Since this exercise depends on speed and accuracy in capturing the groups suggestions, it’s important to limit to size of the group so that all the ideas generated are captured. For groups larger than 6, consider breaking into multiple smaller groups.

How To Brainstorm With 0-60:

  1. Review the Brainstorm Bill of Rights.
  2. Review the Brainstorm Prep Checklist and answer the appropriate questions.
  3. Gather supplies and book a small to medium-sized conference room.
  4. If you choose, you can draw 60 numbered blanks on your easel pages for your brainstorm participants to fill in with their ideas.

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. 5-20 minutes)

  1. Once the brainstorm group understands the key question that’s driving the brainstorm session, invite them to begin filling out the list of 60 solutions. [NOTE: The number 60 is used for illustrative purposes only, for your brainstorm you may choose any number of solutions you wish. Just adjust the time limit accordingly.]
  2. Not every idea thrown out will directly answer the question that’s driving the brainstorm. However, it’s important to capture every solution offered. So, on one easel pad create a “waiting area” where partially formed ideas can be stored without filling in one of your 60 spaces. Occasionally remind brainstorm participants of interesting nuggets stored in this area, and encourage them to further develop these ideas.
  3. Once the brainstorm group has reached its idea quota, step back from the easel pads and let the blood flow return to your writing hand.

Brainstorm Part 2: (approx. 5-10 minutes)

  1. Spread the easel pad sheets around the room using tape or thumbtacks to attached them to the wall.
  2. Invite members of the brainstorm group to circulate around the room and briefly review all the ideas captured during the brainstorm session.
  3. Give each member of the group 1 vote per 10 ideas generated and invite them to vote for their favorite ideas by placing a sticker next to the ideas they like most.
  4. Capture the most popular ideas on a new easel pad.

Brainstorm Part 3: (approx. 20-45 minutes)

  1. Spend this session further developing the most popular brainstorm ideas.
  2. Record each idea on its own sheet of paper and invite brainstorm participants to call out their builds.
  3. If the brainstorm group begins to lose momentum, ask questions to lead the group’s effort, such as:
  • If we could change one thing about this idea to make it more complete, what would it be?
  • This idea is a good start, how can we build on it to get us closer to our goal?
  • What could we do with this idea that would make it uniquely ownable to your brand/company/group?


  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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