Leadership Inspirations Activities

Thirty-Five

Get the best ideas out of this fast paced brainstorming session

Duration

20-30 minutes

Team Stage

Norming, Performing

Type Of Activity

Mixer

Materials

Index Cards, Pens Or Pencils

 

SUMMARY

A new, fun way to brainstorm! Everyone in the group writes down an idea on an index card and they all get mixed up. Group members form pairs and distribute 7 points to two ideas based on how useful they are. At the end, the top 10 ideas will be shared and discussed.

 

SET UP

  • Determine a topic to brainstorm or review ahead of time.
  • Make sure you have enough index cards for everyone in your group.
  • This activity is best led with access to tables and chairs.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Give each group member an index card, and tell them to write one idea based on what they have learned or what the topic of the session is. Give an example. Ask them write to their idea on the lined side of the card.
  • Tell everybody to look at the card, to note how brilliant the idea is, then emotionally detach themselves from the idea because they are going to send the idea out into the real world, and let the best idea rise to the top.
  • Everybody turns the card face down and gives it to somebody. They keep doing this, rapidly, until all of the cards are mixed up – perhaps for 30 seconds.
  • Have each person find a partner. These pairs compare the two ideas on their cards and distribute 7 points between them to reflect how practical and useful the idea is. You can divide the points however you want, as long as, between the two cards, you have a total of 7 points (this means you can have 0-7, 1-6, 2-5, 3-4, or halves). Take 30-45 seconds. Put the point values on the back of the cards.
  • Swap cards as before and find a new partner.
  • Repeat for 5 rounds total so that at the end of the fifth round, each card will have five numbers on the back.
  • Have group members add up the numbers on the card they currently have.
  • Start counting down from 35 — the maximum score an idea can get. You keep counting down until someone has a card with that number of points and that’s the top idea generated and evaluated by the group of people.
  • Keep counting down until you have identified the top 10 ideas, and briefly reflect on all of the ideas.

VARIATIONS

  • After you’ve completed this activity, jump into project planning or action planning with the great ideas your group came up with!
  • For other great brainstorming or ideation activities try Mind Spin or the Random Word Game.

SAMPLE DEBRIEFING QUESTIONS

What?
  • What was the goal of this activity?
  • Did your group do well? What could have improved?
  • How did your group make decisions? Was it effective or ineffective?
  • How did your group manage conflict that arose?
So What?

Feedback

  • Why is feedback important? What kind of feedback is important?
  • What does constructive/effective feedback look like?
  • How did positive/negative/or no feedback affect your success?

Meeting Skills

  • What are some of our effective and ineffective meeting habits?
  • When are you most engaged in meetings? When are you least engaged?
  • What are the roles that people play in meetings? Why are these roles important?

Project Planning

  • What has worked in other projects you have done? How have you dealt with setbacks?
  • How do you connect with the process of planning? Do you like it/not like it? How does this impact you/your group?
  • How do we manage our time? How does that affect our ability to complete our projects?
Now What?
  • What does this activity tell you about the strengths of your group? The areas for improvement?
  • What’s one commitment each person can make?
  • What are three lessons the group has learned that they can continue to work on?
  • How can we implement these lessons in our school/organization?
  • What can you do differently moving forward?