Patterns of Creativity in Japan Lessons from Successful Japanese Companies – A Resource

The NHK Method

The NHK Method was developed by Hiroshi Takahashi (author of The Creativity Handbook) during his years working for NHK.

Each participant writes down five ideas on five separate cards; Gather into groups of five (this is the traditionally recognized optimum number for group work in Japan); While each person explains their ideas, the others write down any ideas that come to mind; Collect, sort and line up cards. Group them into related themes; New groups of two or three people are formed – themes are brainstormed for half an hour while participants continue to write down their ideas; Groups organize ideas into themes and announce them to the whole group; All ideas are written on the whiteboard; Participants form groups of ten people and all ideas on the whiteboard are brainstormed one at a time.

Source: Tatsuno, S. (1990). Created in Japan: from imitators to world-class innovators.

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