Complexity: Low
Time required: 3-4 hours
Material required: poster board, post-its, markers

References: nlp-now.co.uk

What is it for?

The tool is used to generate, evaluate and critique ideas to solve problems through the use of role play in which each person plays a different “Walt”: Walt the Dreamer, Walt the Realist and Walt the Spoiler. It is a great technique to use when trying to brainstorm ideas as it gives space to each function while maintaining a constant sequence: one group, three roles.

How to use it?

The tool should be used in groups of three in which each person has a specific task:

  1. Walt the Dreamer: Your role is to generate ideas to solve the problem, to imagine the solution and its benefits. In your role as the dreamer, you must be fierce in your desire to persevere.
    You don’t want criticism.
  2. Walt the Realist: Your role is to curb the dreamer’s enthusiasm and bring the idea to reality, thinking about how the idea can be
    implemented, what the action plan could be, whether or not you have access to all of the required resources, how to evaluate the idea, etc. In your role as the realist, you must stay grounded.
    You don’t want fantasies.
  3. Walt the Spoiler: Your role is to make the idea better by asking what could be wrong with the idea, why it can’t be implemented, what is missing, what are the weakness, etc. In your role as the spoiler, you must remain strong and not let the group fall in love with any one idea until it is the one and even then it can always be improved. You are never satisfied: the status quo does not exist for you.

In order to facilitate the role play, it would be useful to start by reviewing the key points of the challenge and to write down the main question to be solved in a central place. The role play brainstorming can in fact start by discussing the challenge,
which will then lead to idea generation and refinement.