As a creativity technique, the brainwriting pool can be assigned to the brainwriting techniques. It was first described by Helmut Schlicksupp (1943–2010) in 1975 as a creative brainstorming in a company.
Brainwriting is particularly suitable for exploring and illuminating problems and for generating ideas. After the topic or topics have been determined, as with many other brainwriting techniques, for example method 635 and card technique, ideas are put in writing in a group session and then exchanged among the participants in order to improve these ideas if necessary. As with other brainwriting techniques, ideas are exchanged according to predetermined rules. Then the best ideas are selected or sorted according to certain criteria and discussed in a structured manner.
The only difference between the different brainwriting techniques in practice is the corresponding set of rules. Therefore, adaptations to individual preferences are common.
Even if the description sounds very dry, the corresponding sessions in practice are quite lively. It has also been shown that the written fixation of ideas promotes improvement by other participants, while this is often not done with oral brainstorming .
Advantages and disadvantages
A great advantage is the silence during the practice of the technique, even introverted and reserved participants cannot be outvoted by ideas in the event of a conflict. Thus, the potential of all participants can be fully accessed. Another advantage arises from the simplicity of the technology. People can take part regardless of their educational background and hardly any tools are needed to collect many ideas very quickly.
A disadvantage is that with a higher number of participants, it takes a long time to process until all ideas have been viewed and supplemented. A chairing moderator should therefore set a maximum time, which in turn limits the time it takes for individual participants to come up with ideas.
One possible best practice for the brainwriting pool technique is:
- All participants (teams of 4 to 6 people are ideal) sit around a table.
- A stack of blank index cards (DIN A6 is well suited) is positioned in the middle of the table .
- Each participant takes a card and notes down an idea.
- Then you hand the card to your neighbor on the right, take another card, write down another idea and also pass the card to the right. You do this for each idea.
- Cards received from neighbors are read briefly, supplemented if necessary and passed on like your own cards. Alternatively, if you are busy formulating an idea, the card can also be passed unseen.
- If you get one of your own cards back and you don't want to add it any further, it is placed in a pile / pile (pool) in the middle of the table.
- Participants who cannot come up with a new idea of their own can take any card from this pile, add it if necessary, and put the card back into circulation.
- After a certain time, when all participants have run out of ideas and the cards from the pile have already made the round several times without any additions, the brainwriting is over.
Another possible approach for the brainwriting pool technique is:
- Each participant creates two sheets of paper on which they write down the common question.
- Then he notes (different) ideas on both sheets.
- When he can't think of any more, he puts both sheets of paper in the middle and takes one from the other participants.
- He is stimulated by the ideas he reads on the sheet and adds more to them.
- Axel Schröder: Creativity and creativity techniques in the craft - the brainwriting pool. Retrieved August 27, 2015 .
- Helmut Schlicksupp: Basics of brainstorming and problem solving . Darmstadt 1975.