Electronic brainstorming with decision-support software

Another stimulating idea from David Sibbet, Best Practices for Facilitation (Grove 2007) at 71, is electronic brainstorming. Have participants at an off-site bring their laptops and install simple group decision-support software. The book mentions software from CoVision and Catalyst Consulting.

If you have a clear set of questions, the lawyers can type on their laptops into the shared database of the software – anonymously – and everyone can read the comments. A good idea is to spend most of the time in discussion, but revert to the software at critical junctions. You might also want to have someone pay attention to themes as they appear in the material entered online. Electronic brainstorming emboldens groups that are reluctant to be open about tough issues, or when a large amount of information needs to be generated quickly (See my post of Dec. 31, 2008: brainstorming with 5 references.).

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