lightning in a bottle

Coming up with great ideas is like capturing lightning in a bottle.

….I’m not so sure of that statement if you have great minds and a structured approach.

One approach I’d recommend to structuring the act of bottling innovative ideas is the 6-3-5 brainwriting technique.

It’s called the 6-3-5 technique as in principle it involves 6 participants who are required to write down 3 ideas within 5 minutes. However I disagree with this very exact interpretation of the technique as you can have less/more than 6 people, less/more than 3 ideas can be generated in less/more than 5 minutes, hence I’m going to call it the Rohrbach technique.

The Rohrbach technique then is a group structured brainwriting technique aimed at aiding innovation processes by stimulating creativity. And it works.

In a nut shell (and I’m going to use the official formula for my example):

*   6 participants sit in a room
*   Each of the participants have a worksheet that has 3 columns and 6 rows on it
*   The moderator presents a problem statement. This is the problem to which the participants are tasked with coming up with solutions.
*   The first round begins. Working in relative silence, the participants have 5 minutes to write down 3 ideas to the solution.
*   At the end of the first round, sheets are passed clockwise, meaning all participants now have a sheet with 3 other ideas on it. The idea is that these act as a trigger to assist you in generating and writing down 3 more in the second 5 minute round.
*   This continues until there have been 6 rounds, which then leaves 6 sheets containing 18 ideas on each (108 ideas in total).

For more information check out some great resources from tecmark or wikipedia or the following short 6-3-5 video…

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