Five Squares in Five Minutes

I was working this week with some of our teams in Warsaw. I showed them a brainstorming technique I used to play with Anton Crone. They seemed to get a lot of use out of it so I wanted to post it here.

When you’re brainstorming fast in a team you work in blocks of five minutes. Draw five squares on a page, time the 5 minutes and work in silence to fill each square with one idea related to the challenge/brief. There is only one rule. Each square has to be filled no matter how weak the idea seems.

At the end of the five minutes the five squared ideas are shared – and of course discussed.

Two things happen here. Firstly, the fear is removed that a bad idea would be criticised – because those are the rules. And secondly, it neatly allowed for for focused thinking AND collaboration because those bad ideas may seem like bad ideas but they are potentially hunches that will connect with another hunch your team members may have, connecting into great ideas.

A simple game – but one with great power.


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