4 brainstorming techniques to use in Clubhouse

22 April 2021

It may sound weird: using Clubhouse for a brainstorm. Your voice is the only way to communicate and all those tools to make your brainstorm life easier are nowhere to be found. Despite those odds, Clubhouse pioneer Lotte Brouwer and the creator of Brain Fuel, Friso Visser, experimented with the possibilities. Their conclusion? It’s easy to facilitate a brainstorm on Clubhouse! They even invented four new ways to brainstorm in Clubhouse, which we’ll share with you, of course. 

First things first: what is Clubhouse? Well, Clubhouse is like a digital group call or voice chat. You assemble a group of people and talk with them about serious (or less serious) matters. Other people can join your group and (if the moderator allows it) even join in the conversation. But: online chit chat isn’t the same as an online brainstorm. If you need some brilliant new ideas, then these Clubhouse brainstorming techniques are for you!

4 new brainstorming techniques you can use in Clubhouse

1. Chain Reaction

Suitable for: exploring the subject, to elevate the team spirit

Chain Reaction is the perfect method to start your brainstorm in Clubhouse. You know those good old times at the campfire, when you invented a story with your classmates or friends by continually adding words? Chain Reaction works a bit like that! One person starts and gives an answer to the issue at hand. The next one takes this answer and adds something to it. The person after him/her does the same. Slowly but steadily, the answer to your problem gets more extensive. Chain Reaction is a great method to explore the subject and to get to know each other a little better!

Tip: Sometimes the order of people changes in Clubhouse. It’s a good idea to keep a fixed order by making sure the moderator announces the name of the next participant.

2. Theme Song

Suitable for: influencing the general mood, out-of-the-box thinking

Theme Song is all about the music! The moderator plays the first twenty or thirty seconds of a song and asks the participants to take in it’s atmosphere, tone and lyrics. You proceed to come up with solutions for the issue at hand. During one of our sessions, we played the theme of the Ghostbusters movie. Participants immediately thought of things like hunting, cooperation and ghosts while listening. How do you solve a problem with these associations? And what would happen if you listened to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody? 

Tip: Pick music your audience can relate to. It might get troublesome if no-one knows the song. You can also ask the participants to propose songs themselves!

3. The Avatar

Suitable for: taking risks, out-of-the-box thinking

The Avatar is hilarious! This method makes use of the only true visual element in Clubhouse: your profile picture. The moderator asks every participant to pick an image from the internet (or from his/her phone) and make it their avatar. To specify things, you could ask for a person, object, animal or location. Does everyone have their new profile picture? Good! Now you all debate which avatar to use in solving the main issue. Just like in Theme Song, this method makes use of your ability to associate. How would Scrooge McDuck solve this situation? Or a bowl full of peanuts? And how would you solve the problem in a desert oasis? You’re more than welcome to try a second or third avatar, once you get the hang of it! 

Tip: This method shines when the group knows each other a little better. It could be beneficial to do a warming up first before you try The Avatar.

4. Choose Your Destiny

Suitable for: selecting ideas

Near the end of the brainstorm, you and your team have a lot of brilliant ideas in mind. But what to do next? In Clubhouse, there is no easy way to grade or arrange them. Luckily, we thought of that. Enter Choose Your Destiny!

First, the moderator reiterates every idea that came up during the Clubhouse brainstorm. Secondly, the moderator turns on calming background music for thirty seconds. During this time, every participant reflects on their favourite or most achievable solution. When the thirty seconds are over, every participant calls on their favourite one by one. This way, you will easily find out which idea is the most popular!

Tip: As a moderator, it might be handy to have a piece of paper (or your computer) next to you. This way, you can write down every solution that comes up during the brainstorm. You could also assign a note-taker!

Classic brainstorming techniques in Clubhouse

During the experiments, Friso and Lotte noticed that some of the classic brainstorming techniques also work quite well in Clubhouse! We give you three examples: 

Super Hero

Super Hero might be the most famous brainstorming technique ever created. In this method, you think of a famous (fictional) character and wonder how they would solve the problem. How would Santa Claus solve loneliness among the youth? Super Hero works just fine in Clubhouse, but The Avatar is definitely an improvement. 

Dark Side

In Dark Side you take an issue and… make it even worse! The youth feel lonely, you say? Why not build a big wall around each and everyone of them? That will teach them! The next step is to turn this ‘solution’ around. Give young people a big open space to converse in, for example. Dark Side can be really fun and exciting, but the lack of post-its or other visual tools mean that all those dark ideas stick around longer than they need to.

Brain Dump

Empty your mind by writing! In Brain Dump you write down every single thought you have to solve the problem. There’s only one rule: everything works! After a certain period of time, the moderator asks everyone the first solution they came up with.

Lessons learned: don’t plummet into these Clubhouse pitfalls

  • Don’t forget to bring a note-taker! You can’t save anything in Clubhouse, so it’s important to write everything down. A document in Google Docs or a board in Mural is fine. You could do this yourself, but if you want to focus on facilitating the meeting, you could also appoint someone.  Added bonus: as a nice recap, you could send the notes to the participants afterward!
  • Don’t make your group too big: a session will take up way too much time that way. 
  • A great way to break the ice as a moderator, is to let someone take the floor as soon as possible. The other participants will follow!
  • People listen to you. Because there are no visual elements to distract someone during a Clubhouse-session, people really focus on what you have to say. Use this to your advantage!
  • Don’t forget the recap! In Clubhouse, there aren’t any visual templates or Mural-canvasses to look at. That’s why it is important to reiterate or summarise important findings or conclusions once in a while. 

Your own brainstorm in Clubhouse?

Did we get your creativity going? Go get some practise in, then! And otherwise, you could always reach out to us for a helping hand. 

If you need your own brainstorm in Clubhouse or have some questions, we’re here for you. Send a message to Lotte or Friso ór send us an e-mail via friso@brainfuel.nl. See you at Clubhouse!