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By John Newstrom & Edward Scannell

Objective:
To provide a structured method for stimulating the generation and sharing of ideas among groups members.

Materials
3x5 index cards, five for each group member.

Procedure
In advance of a meeting, frame a problem or issue for the group to address. Ask them to generate five of their best ideas for solving the problem and write each one on a blank card or simulated dollar bill.

Ask each participant to sign his or her name on the back of each card, to receive recognition when the ideas are shared and competitively judged. Set a deadline before the meeting for the submission of the cards.

Create a master listing of all the ideas generated, so that the group has a collective "memory" or record of the array of solutions offered.

At the beginning of the session distribute the master list. Ask each member to select the ten best ideas and mark their sheets. Take a quick count of the responses by asking for a show of hands for each item.

After you have tabulated the results, announce the best ideas, award a nominal prize, and explain how everyone is now "wealthier." They have not only stretched their minds and exercised their creative juices, but also received a large number of ideas (on the handout) that can potentially be applied to solving an organizational problem.

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the advantages of focusing one's mind on a problem or issue prior to the meeting?


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