“And it can all be done in Under 30!”
This is a short and powerful tool, developed by Jack Pearpoint of Inclusion Press International that
takes no more than a half hour. It is effective in getting “unstuck,” working through any problem and
getting a plan of action in place.
1. (5 minutes) The Problem Presenter has five uninterrupted minutes to outline the problem.
A Facilitator keeps time and makes sure no one interrupts. A Recorder takes notes. Everyone else
(Problem Solvers/brainstorming team) listens. If the Problem Presenter stops talking before the
five minutes elapse, everyone stays silent until the five minute mark.
2. (5 minutes) The Problem Solvers ask clarifying questions. What else do we, as the Problem Solvers,
need to know? Ask questions to understand the problem, not, “have you tried” questions.
3. (5 minutes) This is The Brainstorm. Everyone offers creative solutions to what they have just heard.
It is not a time to clarify the problem or to ask questions. It is not a time to give speeches, lectures
or advice. The Facilitator makes sure everyone gets a chance to give their brilliant ideas and that
no one dominates. The Problem Presenter listens ‐ without interrupting; he/she must not talk or
4. (5 minutes) The group has a dialogue led by the Problem Presenter. This is time for the Problem
Presenter to explore and clarify the ideas suggested. Focus only on the positive points, rather than
things that cannot be done.
5. (5 minutes) The First Step. The Problem Presenter and the group decide on first steps that are
positive and doable within the next three days. This is critical. Research shows that unless a first
step is taken almost immediately, the solution goes nowhere. A person from the group volunteers
to contact the Problem Presenter and others who have volunteered to take steps, within three
days, to check if he/she/they are following through on their first step(s).