Brainwriting is an advanced alternative technique to traditional brainstorming sessions. It was formulated back in the ’60s and got popular in the late ’70s in Germany. The technique is known for its diverse and befitting solutions that help ideate innovative solutions. Brainwriting applications are more effective in generating ideas and suggestions for companies than brainstorming.
The technique is simple yet efficient in improving communication and strategies for businesses. There are multiple times when we find it difficult to generate ideas to proceed with our next big plan. And this is where techniques like brainwriting come into play. It has multiple applications in our day-to-day life, and before stating its applications, let’s understand what brainwriting is and what it offers.
The brainwriting process is somewhat similar to brainstorming but has some unique features. The process starts with everyone writing their ideas down and asks participants to comment on everyone’s ideas before finishing. The whole process is done silently, so you will only be able to comment after the exercise is completed.
This brainstorming approach is super helpful to ensure that you can bake multiple perspectives into each idea, and everyone can have their say without the judgment of others. With that understanding, let’s look into some popular brainwriting applications.
In brainwriting, participants can easily formulate their ideas and make suggestions to the rest of the team. This makes brainwriting fit better in multiple brainstorming scenarios. The technique itself has numerous applications, some of which are listed below.
The Best Antidote for a Restrictive Work Culture
The first application of brainwriting is when working in a restrictive office or workplace where employees are not given enough freedom to express their thoughts or authentic ideas towards a problem or issue.
When operating in restrictive work cultures that make communication within a group difficult, brainwriting is a popular way to ensure participation and integration of unique perspectives. Traditional brainstorming struggles to break down these barriers because it relies on more conventional idea generation methods, but in this scenario, you need an innovative exercise to break the mold.
For Sessions without any Moderator or Facilitator
If you have no moderator to conduct your sessions or conferences, brainwriting is an effective strategy to implement. In these scenarios, it can be challenging to rely on a team member to conduct an effective exercise, so brainwriting provides an established set of rules to follow rather than forcing the team to come up with something. This means that even without a leader or facilitator, your team can conduct an effective ideation session.
Ideal for Mixed Groups with Multiple types of Personalities
If you are working with multiple groups having various people with diverse personalities, you can apply brainwriting instead of brainstorming. This is because you need people to feel comfortable and heard to generate potential ideas.
Brainwriting will also be applicable in scenarios where you deal with introverted people shy enough to share their ideas or doubt their credibility in front of others. This is a silent way to encourage them to come out of their comfort zones.
Effective for Larger and Complex Groups
For larger groups, brainstorming can often be a much more difficult exercise to conduct. It’s rarely feasible for a large group of people to ideate effectively using conventional brainstorming methods. Brainwriting can be applied to yield the best from all the team members in these scenarios.
By applying brainwriting, loud participants will not have the advantage of overshadowing their less expressive colleagues, and everyone will have an equal opportunity to share.
Suitable for Hierarchical Systems
Many companies follow the same stepwise hierarchical system, where seniors have advantages over their junior employees. In this type of setup, brainwriting can easily be implemented to generate ideas without the interference of ranks or designations.
This will encourage every member to participate without feeling intimidated by their hierarchical position.
For Generating Ideas in Remote Groups
Multiple remote groups have limited access to in-person interactions and only interact virtually. In this scenario, brainwriting can give enough space to such remote groups to present their ideas flexibly rather than in a binding way which is quite difficult for such groups. Interacting remotely is a perfect medium for teams to use online whiteboards to conduct their brainwriting sessions.
When Companies Need Versatile Approaches
Suppose your company needs a versatile solution to a single problem. You obviously cannot generate such an idea on your own every single time. For this, brainwriting can be an effective solution to generate various diverse solutions and ideas related to a single problem and that too in a short time frame. Having multiple people interact with multiple different ideas means that in a short span of time, you can ideate many different fully informed solutions.
Brainwriting applications are important to think about because they open up the scope of what you can do through group ideation. These brainwriting applications are some of the most popular, but if you want to learn more about how online whiteboards can fuel additional collaboration, make sure you check out Fresco.