Each participant is assigned the task of finding a solution for a problem over an open period. A notebook (both is possible, an analogue or electronic notebook) is used which contains a description of the problem on the first pages. The participants should always carry the note-book with them in order to be able to record spontaneously emerging ideas.
- The coordinator provides each participant with a notebook describing the procedure and giving a broad problem statement.
- Each participant writes one idea per day in the notebook for a month.
- At regular intervals during the month, participants are fed with related ‘priming’ information from experts, the literature, colleagues, etc.
- After the end of the open period, they provide a brief written summary.
- The coordinator collects the notebooks, and categorizes and summarizes the ideas.
- Participants can then see all the notebooks and the coordinator’s report, and there may be a general group discussion. (Martin et al. 2010) The participants can also exchange their notebooks during the implementation phase.
For an appropriate implementation of the method a sufficient number of analogue or electronic notebooks are required.
The outcome of this method can be new ideas and new scenarios.
Pros and cons
- The participants don’t influence each other
- The problem doesn’t have to be solved in the office
- Everybody can generate their ideas in the respective native language in the first place
- Complex issues can be addressed.
Disadvantages: This method takes a lot of time.
The CNB-method includes some components of the Delphi-method, Brainstorming and the 6-3-5-Method.