Protocol: Speed Dating Brainstorming

Adapted from:

An activity to assist groups in brainstorming, generating as many ideas as possible around a number of ideas that they have selected

This process works for synchronous meetings.

For locally situated teams, the process is clearly laid out in the document at the link above. If a team has more than and fewer than 8 members, it can be easily adapted by changing the number of pairings.

In a webinar setting:
  1. The coach or team leader should create the number of breakout rooms that would accommodate pairs of all team members.
  2. They should then divide team members into an A team and a B team and give each A team member an idea that has been previously explored as the one for focus in their breakout room.
  3. Much like speed dating, team members would move into break out rooms in pairs with an A team member and a B team member in each room.
  4. The timer should be set for 5 minutes and the pairs directed to brainstorm as many ideas as possible on the white board of the break out room.
  5. When the time is up, each B team member should move themselves down one breakout room.
  6. A team members stay put.
  7. The timer is set again, and the new pair continues to brainstorm as many additional ideas as possible.
  8. The process is repeated until each B team member has participated in every breakout room.
  9. The white boards of the break out rooms should be copied to the main room so the ideas there can be explored by all.
  10. If there is time at that meeting, the group can then select the best of the ideas that were generated.
  11. If time is short, the ideas from the white boards can be transferred to a discussion thread in an asynchronous online space so that team members can narrow down their ideas.