Templates library

3-12-3 Brainstorm Template

Generate great ideas on a given topic in less than 20 minutes by leveraging the teamwork during a 3-12-3 brainstorming session.

3-12-3 Brainstorm Template

What is the 3-12-3 Brainstorm template?

Conduct a 3-12-3 brainstorming session as a warm-up for your team before jumping into another long meeting. Generate new ideas or try to improve existing ones without prior preparation. Keep a strict time format to force spontaneous, unexpected, and quick decisions, leaving no place for overthinking.


Divide your session into three phases and take the first three minutes to generate a pool of new observations. Next, allocate twelve minutes to turn those observations into rough concepts for each group. Finally, allow all participants to present their ideas in the last three minutes.


What are the benefits of the 3-12-3 Brainstorm template?

Thanks to the 3-12-3 Brainstorm template, you can:

  • Bring new and fresh ideas to the table and thus making it more effortless to resolve complex problems.
  • Come up with new, fully-fledged concepts or solutions in a very short span of time with zero preparation.
  • Force your mind to think very fast without second-guessing or overthinking.
  • Suggest unconventional ideas if you’re a non-expert in the topic while having your arguments supported by teammates with knowledge of what worked in the past.
  • Dig deeper into individual ideas and concepts and try to integrate these ideas into other proposals.


How to use the 3-12-3 Brainstorm template in a few steps?

  1. Set up the timer for three minutes and start the brainstorming session by defining its topic in only two words. Write them down on a sticky note.
  2. Ask participants about the characteristics of the topic and encourage them to write as many ideas as they can on separate sticky notes. Accelerate the thinking process by writing merely nouns and verbs on stickies.
  3. Divide your audience into pairs or small teams and ask the group members to pick three random sticky notes from the previous step.
  4. Give all groups twelve minutes to develop fresh, new concepts in the form of rough notes, sketches, or prototypes. 
  5. Let every group present their ideas on a virtual stage in a span of three minutes.
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