Business Moderation: Method “Brainwalking”
Brainwalking is a very useful business facilitation method to “elicit” knowledge and experience from a group and to share existing knowledge (“peer learning”). It can also serve the recurrence and summary, as well as the collection of ideas on a variety of topics (as a kind of brainstorming).
Your participants silently walk through the room and note down their thoughts on specified topics. These are then presented and discussed afterwards.
While preparing a brain walk you should schedule 15-20 minutes. You define the relevant subtopics and prepare a flip chart for each subtopic (best to write the topic in the middle of the flip charts). You should spread the flipcharts – if possible – throughout the room or hang them from the pinboards. The more you prepare before the start of your workshop/training, the better.
Business Moderation: The Brainwalk
Of course, there is also the possibility – for example, in a workshop – to define the relevant subtopics together with your participants and write them all down, in that case just don’t forget to plan in ample time.
When implemented the brain walk progresses in 3 steps:
Step 1 – distribute pens. Each individual writes her/his associations on the flip chart. The participants walk around, without talking to each other, and write their thoughts down. Duration: approximately 10 minutes.
Business Moderation: The Brainwalk, Step 1
Step 2 – the participants form small groups (2-3 people per flip chart) and discuss and complement the existing notes. The group then agrees on a presenter. Duration: approximately 10 minutes
Brainwalk – Step 2
Step 3 – the respective flip charts are presented per group by the selected presenter. Duration: 2 minutes per group.
Brainwalk – Step 3
Before your participants run through these 3 steps, give an overview of the entire process first. At the end of each step explain the next one again, that offers a helpful guide to your participants which they can follow during the implementation of the brain walk.
- Define a maximum of 10 subtopics.
- The fitting group size for a brain walk is about 30 people (or less, depending on subtopics; maximum 40).
- You need a space that is large enough, to move around freely.
- Remember that the preparation also takes time, if you could not prepare everything in advance. It therefore makes sense in some circumstances, to schedule a break.
If the group is very experienced, then step 3 can be under-demanding. You can get around this with a bonus task: let the group work out 2-3 key aspects and present only these.
Brain Walker: There’s something going on in our brain!
Was the contribution about the “brainwalk” helpful? Are you already looking forward to next time? We will deal with the “mind map” – a great method for taking down notes, which you can also use outside of your workshops and training courses.
Your BusinessMind team