Recently I facilitated a workshop with students working in the Disruptive Design Studio of Unilever R&D Vlaardingen (NL). Their assignment was to think of a new product. While designing the brainstorm we thought of a new tool to prioritize ideas. This tool worked well and looked fantastic too; we called it ‘the Spiderweb’. Let me share it with you.
Form small teams and ask them to talk about the topic and share their ideas. The ideas are summarized on post-its and shared on a flipover. Each participant can share as many ideas as they want.
Each individual now selects their best 2 ideas (which might be the ideas of another participant) and takes the post-its from the flipover. The other participants each choose 2 of the remaining post-its.
The facilitator prepares a large circle and asks the participants to place their 2 ideas randomly on the large circle line. While placing the post-its the participants explain why they think these are the best 2 ideas.
The facilitator now connects all ideas by drawing a line towards the middle point of the cirle.
All candidates write their name on as many post-its as there are ideas on the outer line of the circle. Use different colours of post-its to make it look colorful.
The participants place 1 post-it with their name on each line of an idea indicating how important they think that specific idea is to them: middle = 1 not important, halfway the line 2 = semi-important, on or near outer circle 3 = very important. If they choose to not select one of the ideas at all, they place their name-post-its outside the circle.
Now take a step back and overlook the spiderweb. Discuss with the participants which ideas have more highest or lowest score, which ideas did not get post-its, etc.
If you want, you can capture the scores 1-2-3 and make a calculation which ideas scored highest in priority. The objective of the Spiderweb, however, it to have a visual view that helps the team to discuss the selected ideas.
With the new technique I’ve seen that it is a fun, colourful way of visualising ideas and it helps the brainstorming team to select and discuss the best ideas. You can use this technique also for opinions, thoughts, topics, etc.
If you are interested in more techniques to facilitate brainstorms, call me: Nel Mostert, +31(0)610171412 or send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org