!Object of play
This format for brainstorming compresses the essentials of an ideation session into one short format. Te numbers 3-12-3 refer to the amount of time in minutes given to each of three activities: 3 minutes for generating a pool of observations, 12 for combining 
those observations into rough concepts, and 3 again for presenting the concepts back to a group.
Essential to this format is strict time keeping. Te “ticking clock” forces spontaneous, quick-fre decisions and doesn’t allow for overthinking. With this in mind, a group that is typically heavily measured in its thought process will beneft the most from this exercise but will also be the hardest to engage.

Given its short duration (30 minutes total for 10 participants), 3-12-3 Brainstorming can be used as an energizer before diving into a longer exercise or as a standalone, zero-prep activity. It works equally well in generating new ideas as improvements to existing ones.
!Number of players
Tis is a fast exercise that gets slower as more participants are added. With up to 10 participants working as partners, the speed of the exercise makes it an energy builder. Working beyond 10 may require creating groups of three instead of pairs to keep from 
getting slowed down.
!Duration of play
21–30 minutes, depending on number of participants
!How to play
You will need a topic on which to brainstorm ideas, boiled down to two words. Tis 
could be an existing problem, such as “energy efciency,” or it could be focused on creating something new, such as “tomorrow’s television.”

Although the two words could be presented as a full challenge question, such as “How will tomorrow’s television work?” it is best to avoid doing this right away. By focusing on two words that signify the topic, you will aim to evoke thinking about its defning 
aspects frst, before moving into new concepts or proposing solutions.

To set up the game, distribute a stack of index cards and markers to all the participants. Everyone should have a fair number of cards available. Te game should begin immediately afer the rules have been explained.

* ''3 Minutes: Generate a Pool of Aspects.''
** For the frst three minutes of the exercise, participants are asked to think about the characteristics of the topic at hand and to 
write down as many of them as they can on separate index cards.
** It may accelerate the group’s process to think in terms of “nouns and verbs” that come to mind when thinking about the subject, or to free-associate. As in all brainstorming, no filtering should be put on this phase, in which the goal is a large pool of aspects in a small window of three minutes.
* ''12 Minutes: Develop Concepts.''
** At this point the group is divided into pairs. Each team draws three cards randomly from the pool. With these as thought starters, the teams now have 12 minutes to develop a concept to present back to the larger group.
** If the two topic words are sufcient to explain the challenge, the clock starts and the teams begin.
** If there is any doubt, reveal a more feshed-out version of the topic’s focus, such as “How will we become more energy-efcient next quarter?”
** In developing concepts to present, teams may create rough sketches, prototypes, or other media—the key is in preparing for a short (three-minute maximum) presentation of their concept back to the group.
* ''3 Minutes: Make Presentations''.
** When presenting to the larger group, teams may reveal the cards that they drew and how the cards infuenced their thinking. Again, tight time keeping is critical here—every team should have a maximum of three minutes to present their concept.
** After every team has presented, the entire group may refect on what was uncovered.
!Strategy
Speed is key. Many traditional brainstorming techniques can be slowed down or fouled entirely when time is not of the essence, despite the best intentions of participants.  Additionally, speed helps prove the value of what can be accomplished in short bursts—ofen the important aspects of good ideas can be captured very quickly and do not require laborious discussion before frst coming to light.

Afer presenting concepts back to the group, teams may do a number of things. They may dig deeper on an individual concept or try to integrate the ideas into each other. They may vote or rank the concepts to decide on which to spend more time developing. 
Ofen, concepts coming out of this exercise are more memorable to the participants, who are bonded in the time-driven stress of creating together.

//The 3-12-3 Brainstorm game is credited to James Macanufo//

From the book: [[Gamestorming - A Playbook for innovators, Rulebreakers and Changemakers]]
bag
games_public
created
Wed, 17 Nov 2010 21:30:19 GMT
creator
dirkjan
modified
Wed, 17 Nov 2010 21:30:19 GMT
modifier
dirkjan
creator
dirkjan