First, clean-up the flipchart pages.
- Ask the group to help bring order to the flipchart pages.
- Quickly review and fill in any words left out when writing the ideas down on flipcharts.
- Remove unneeded flipchart pages.
- Go through all pages, and circle or highlight the 3-5 words which encapsulate the concept behind the core ideas, good or bad. I prefer to use an entirely separate colour or a bright highlighter to visually separate the core ideas from the messy notes.
Next, look for …
- Any repeating ideas. Link these ideas using your pen or highlighter.
- Ways to combine or connect unrelated ideas to form more complete or whole ideas.
- Ideas which need to be brainstormed further, researched or tested.
- Any Big Ideas, or provocative ideas which warrant more attention.
Finally, select the best ideas.
- Distribute the creative criteria to the brainstorm participants.
- Give everyone a few plastic stickers – purchased from an office supply store – and ask them to judiciously select only those ideas which fit the criteria. People should have 3-4 dots in a small brainstorms, or 5-6 for large ones.
- Once finished, look in order at the ideas with the most dots for further discussion.
On a related note, read this great post here from John Armato at Fleischman-Hillard on “flip chart management.”