Tips for brainstorming: How to create 100 ideas in 10 minutes?

Have you invited to a brainstorming session and ended up with nothing? A good engagement can quickly end in endless discussions without you getting anywhere.

Didrich Westgård
Consulting, SEO

Method of brainstorming

The method is a variation of Lightning Decision Jam for those who are familiar with it, and it provides many great ideas in a very short time. The brainstorming can be carried out both physically and digitally. For digital implementation, Miro is a good collaboration tool.

This is what you are left with:
A list of priority ideas or solution proposals.

This is what you need:
Time: 10 minutes
Material: Post-it notes, markers, something to take your time with and stickers for voting
Number of participants: 2-10

What can Lightning Decision Jam be used for?

This variant of Lightning Decision Jam can be used to come up with ideas for almost anything, such as:

  • Ideas for an app or website
  • Ideas for blog posts
  • Ideas for a better sales process
  • Ideas for a seminar
  • Ideas on how we can get more people to work in the office and not from home

How to carry out the brainstorming?

Let's take an example, where you or your company would like more people to be in the office a little more often. and not just sit in the home office.

Before you invite a team to an effective process, write down the challenge or issue down on a post-it.

Then rephrase what you've written into a question -- “How can we get more people to work more often in the office?”

Challenge: Too many people too often choose home office.

Formulation: How can we get more people to work more often in the office?

Problemstilling og formulering på post-its

Step 1: The actual brainstorming! (5 minutes)

Take the “How can we” formulation with you and present it to those participating in the exercise.

What you need to do now is work for a design sprint principle. It's called “Working Alone, Together.”

It involves everyone working on ideas separately and ultimately making decisions together by using stickers to vote.

  1. Give each person a stack of Post-it notes and markers
  2. The group gets 5 minutes (remember to take the time!)
  3. Each person writes as many ideas as they can to the “How can we” question. The ideas should be anonymous and each individual tries to come up with as many ideas as possible, at least 15—20 ideas.

It turns out surprisingly well if you are more uncritical of what you write down. So think quantity and not quality.

Hint: Put on some appropriate music as time goes on, it helps with concentration and prevents one from starting to chat.

Hvordan kan vi spørsmål på post-its

Step 2 — pick and hang the top 10 ideas (1 minute)

  1. Ask each one to pick out the top 10 ideas they have written themselves.
  2. Put aside the rest of the ideas.
  3. Hang up all the Post-it notes on a chalkboard or whiteboard.
  4. No talking here, just bring them up! Remove like suggestions.

If you are 10 people who have all come up with 10 ideas or solutions each, then you now have 100 ideas that answer the “How can we” question! 🤯

But you're not on target yet, there are a bit too many ideas to go on with. You shall now narrow in by voting with the stickers.

Step 3 — Vote for the best ideas (3 minutes)

  1. Give each participant 10 stickers for voting.
  2. Each participant votes on the solution proposals or ideas they think best answer the “How can we” question.
  3. It is allowed to stick several stickers on the same note and to vote on your own ideas.
  4. Everyone must use all 10 stickers. Ask participants to use their gut and not spend so much time pondering.
  5. When the time is up, quickly sort the ideas by the number of votes.

Avstemning på de beste post-it-lappene


In 10 minutes you have come up with a large number of ideas and solution proposals and voted on the best ones.

Then all that remains is to implement one or more of the measures that have received the most votes.

Do you have any doubts about what actions you should start with?

Then it can help to set up all the ideas in a matrix with one axis of effort and another effect (example):

Plassering av post-its i en matrise, basert på hvor stor effekt et tiltak har og hvor mye innsats som kreves

This will require a little more time beyond the 10 minutes allotted, but this portion should not take more than 5 minutes.

This exercise is based on tasks from Lightning Decision Jam by AJ & Smart. Are you interested in more ways to develop ideas? Also read our post about design sprint.

What can we help you with?

Sebastian Krohn
Sebastian Krohn
Agency Manager, Consulting
988 00 306
Morten M Wikstrøm
Morten M Wikstrøm
CEO, Consulting
976 90 017

See also:

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