The Crawford Slip

If you’re wondering what the Crawford Slip is, you might be surprised to find you’ve already encountered it before, but haven’t known it by name.

The Crawford Slip is named after Dr C. C. Crawford, who proposed the method in the 1920s. The method is extremely simple but powerful in that it gives everyone the opportunity to have their voice heard, in meetings where your trying to generate ideas. This technique can be summed up as, “giving everyone a post-it note so they can write their ideas down”.

Here’s how to use The Crawford Slip:
Give out a bunch of post-it notes to everyone in the team. Now ask them to generate ideas on your topic of interest. Ask all the members of the group to write down just one idea per post-it. After a set amount of time, or when it is obvious that the speed at which ideas are being generated begins to slow, collect all the post-its.

Now that you’ve collected the post-its, it’s time to group them into categories or themes. This can be done either offline or with the group present. Use these themes or topics to facilitate a deeper dive into areas of interest.

That’s it!

One final point. Following the meeting it’s good practice to write an email to everyone involved thanking them for their participation, summarizing the findings, and laying down some concrete next steps.