Participation is key when generating great ideas. The nominal group technique provides a structure for everyone to contribute to a brainstorming session.
Let’s face it: sometimes people are shy when sharing ideas. (That or a few people simply dominate a group thinking session.) The nominal group technique provides a brainstorming method that encourages input from everyone to discover a range of solutions.
Simply identify a moderator, grab some writing tools and use this simple approach to begin:
After 5 minutes have passed, have each participant share one idea aloud. The moderator will record it on a Post-it® Easel Pad for everyone to see. During this step, it’s important to follow these additional guidelines:
a.Discussing ideas at this stage is not allowed. Simply record the idea and move on to the next person.
b.Shared ideas don’t have to come from that participant’s written notes — in fact, a participant may be inspired by something shared prior.
Continue around the group until each participant has shared his/her favorite idea.
Have the group discuss the shared ideas to clarify any questions as far as meaning, logic, etc.
Now it’s time to vote! Have the group identify the top ranked ideas and continue another round of brainstorming if the situation (and time) warrants.