6-3-5 Methode

The "6-3-5" method was developed in 1968 by Professor Bernd Rohbach and was put forward as a creative technique for finding ideas.

Benno van Aerssen can not only lead your team in the 6-3-5 method, but also has enough experience to know how this method can be optimally integrated into your innovation processes. Innovation managers can learn how to ensure that the results will have a long-term effect.

Out of all the creative methods, the 6-3-5 method is categorized under the ‘brain-writing techniques’. The speed in which ideas are generated using this method is what Benno van Aerssen finds particularly enthusing.

Furthermore, the method works very well with inexperienced participants. This technique promotes ways of problem solving as well as the creation of new and unusual ideas.

Within a relatively short time, a maximum of 108 ideas can be generated using the 6-3-5: 6 participants x 3 ideas x 6 rows.


6-3-5 Method - Applicability

This technique is suitable for creative brainstorming, based on specific questions related to targets, which have a varying range of complexity.

6-3-5 Method - How it works

  • Step 1:
    Each participant will receive a pre-planed worksheet. The worksheet heading outlines the target question. The worksheet consists of six rows across and three columns down.

  • Step 2:
    Depending on the difficulty of the question, the moderator will set a time limit by which the worksheets are to be completed (for example, 3 to 5 minutes)

  • Step 3:
    Each of the 6 participants will in this time write down 3 ideas, aimed at meeting the target in question.
  • Step 4:
    Once the time is up, the work sheets get passed on to the neighboring participant, clockwise.

  • Step 5:
    Each participant will now attempt to develop or expand on the 3 new ideas in front of them.

  • Step 6:
    This cycle is continued until all the rows on the worksheet are completed.

The name of this method is a depiction of it can be most effective. The optimum number of participants is six, who each produce three initial ideas and then pass their worksheets round five times. Hence 6-3-5 (6 participants, each 3 ideas, passing 5 times).