All About Rolestorming – Improving Group Brainstorming

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Rolestorming is a brainstorming technique that is invented by Rick Griggs in 1980. Rick Griggs is a Business guru and he has developed this technique. 

It involves the role-playing of a character. Generally, sometimes we feel ashamed or fear of sharing our new and unique ideas with others. 

We just think about what they think or our idea is good or bad. So role storming techniques helps you to share your knowledge, feeling, or unique ideas with others.

This technique is a type of brainstorming technique and it helps in decreasing fear by replacing it with laughter, fun, and foolishness.

So you can use this technique to share your ideas with others with a new perspective. It is a simple way to tap others into our creativity and share our thought without feeling fear.

I think role storming is a creative process because by applying this technique you can easily share your thoughts with fun and some creativity.


What is Role storming? 

Rolestorming - Improving Group Brainstorming

Griggs (1985) claims that idea generation from brainstorming can be substantially increased if participants brainstorm as if they were someone else. 

There are two possible reasons for the suggestion :

• Switching perspectives is creatively provocative in itself.

• It may reduce inhibitions. The underlying logic of this is: 

‘For me to generate silly ideas like this would be undignified, but for me to tell you what silly ideas someone else would produce is fully acceptable (because it is no longer ‘me’ that is doing it). 

This is equivalent to some of the distancing and desensitizing techniques used in NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) to reduce the impact of anxiety-creating situations. Superheroes (q.v.) uses similar principles but uses fantasy, rather than real, roles.

Rolestorming process 

Rolestorming is not a complete idea-generating process on its own, but it is an excellent and simple supplement to others. 

You might build it into a brainstorming process as follows:

1. Use conventional brainstorming or any convenient idea-generating technique to ‘purge’ the first wave of easily accessible ideas.

2. Identify someone who you know well (but who is not present) – perhaps a colleague or friend, or someone in public life.

3. Take on that role, adopting their beliefs, world view, attitudes, etc. If you wish, you can get completely into the role, ‘becoming’ the person and using ‘I’ to refer to them. Otherwise by all means refer to them in the third person: ‘My person would suggest…’

4. Brainstorm (or use other techniques) while ‘in role’.

5. If you wish, repeat Steps 2–4 for other identities.

How to use 

Creativity takes bravery. We sometimes feel guarded about sharing new ideas with others. 

Role-storming is a type of brainstorming which helps decrease these inhibitions through fun, foolishness, and laughter. 

Use this technique to encourage idea sharing and to view things from a new perspective.

Identify and assign roles – They might be related to sectors of the community, roles within the coalition, or just plain silly.

Get into character by asking – How does this person see the world? How would this person solve problems? What are their strengths and weaknesses?

Let the show begin – Start brainstorming as your respective characters. Be sure to record your ideas.

When everyone is out of fresh ideas, consider assigning new roles and doing this process a second time. 

Review all ideas at the end and note what you wish to move forward on.

Rolestorming Techniques

1. Workers can think creatively when they start general brainstorming regularly and attend general brainstorming sessions. 

As a consequence, obvious ideas will receive more attention.

2. Identifying roles By deciding in advance who takes on which role, it is easier for employees to identify with one another. 

A choice can be made from individual roles or collective roles. This happens in consultation with a group of employees. 

The role that has been chosen must not refer to a member of the group. To arrive at a good identification, it is considered advisable to have some information on the character. 

The role does not necessarily have to be associated with the problem that needs to be solved…

3. Putting oneself in someone else’s shoes to relate to the role, helps to focus on the chosen figure/character for a few minutes. 

These questions could be helpful in This technique –

What could this character’s personality be like?

Second, What is this character’s perspective of society?

How would this character solve problems?

What are this character’s strengths and weaknesses?

4. Role Storming – At this stage, everybody starts brainstorming together from their respective roles. 

From their new roles, they will feel free to suggest ideas and look at problematic situations from new and different perspectives. 

By speaking in the ‘I’ form they are encouraged to do so, my character does not see a problem but an opportunity. 

Each participant must get an opportunity to speak during the role storming session.

5. Repetition – When the sessions have produced insufficient creative ideas, it is advisable to repeat the entire procedure with various ‘new’ roles. 

Also, continuity is important. For employees to get used to role storming, it is recommended to initiate such sessions at regular intervals.


At the end, I just want to say that Rolestorming is a unique form of group brainstorming that involves role-playing.

It really helps you in decreasing any kind of fear by replacing it with laughter and fun. Rolestormers may play real-world characters, such as clients or managers.

Also, you can read our blog on The Charette Procedure-Brainstorm Ideas


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