Pick a Brain

Purpose: to spread good examples and to be inspired by the skilled/most experienced.

If you are interested in seeing the exercise done, you can click on the video-icon in the bar to the right.

Pick a Brain is very suitable for knowledge sharing from the more experienced participants to the less experienced.


  • To spread good examples
  • To be inspired by the skilled/most experienced


Any time


25-45 minutes

Materials needed:

  • Papers and pens for each group
  • Possibly a block, felt pens and teacher’s gum for each group

Best suited for:

12-30 persons, but can also be made for larger groups as described further down the page.

How to get started:

- Find out which ones in the group who have a lot of experience with the subject you are working on. Ask them – if desired – to place themselves in an experience line.

- Pick the ones with most experience – preferably matching to 1-3 per group.

- Spread the remaining participants in groups of 3-7.

- Ask each group to form a question they would like to ask the ‘experts’. Go to the different groups and make sure that they ask different questions. While this is happening, the experts can possibly share their tricks and experiences.

- When the questions are ready, the experts join their individual group (possibly 2-3 together) and receives the group’s question.

- After 2-4 minutes you ask all the experts to join another table.

- When the experts have been at 3-4 tables, you ask the participants to sum up the answers they have been given and form 3 advice to give to the other groups.

- Take a round and ask the groups to give each other their advice.

A variant:

- You could also ask the groups to sum up their answers together with the question on a block, which will be showcased afterwards.

With Larger groups:

- The exercise can also be done with very large groups. In stead of summing up the advice in plenary, they can be written on blocks which the participants can circulate to and from – as if they were at an Art Gallery.

Learning message:

We often have an expert among us - but do we remember to use them?

More info about this exercise:

Bo Krüger, Moving Minds, bo@movingmi...

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