It’s common knowledge that if you put 10 staff members through the same experience, you’ll get 10 different interpretations.
That’s why the concepts of group brainstorming and problem solving are so important to supporting innovation.
Because the diversity of your people can be harnessed to produce wildly unique ideas. Disruptive ideas. Profitable ideas!
Think about your people as the source of creative idea-power that drives your idea machine.
So how do you create your own idea machine?
To use an analogy, compare it to the production of steel.
You’ve got 4 elements in the production of steel; the principles of steel manufacturing, the inputs, the processes and the output:
Now you can think of the manufacture of breakthrough ideas using the same model:
You already have your iron ore (your team’s natural creativity), the input.
Let’s now look at the principles of idea generation and some useful idea generation processes to turn your team’s creativity into innovative ideas.
Have you ever struggled to fire up your team’s creativity? You might have sat down with everyone to solve an urgent problem, yet got nothing back in the form of useful (let alone breakthrough) ideas.
Getting your people to open up to their full creative power has a lot to do with how you frame an idea generation session, and the expectations you set from the start.
Introducing my 6 principles for successful idea generation sessions:
Share these principles with your team at the start of the session. Your people need to be assured that the session is a safe environment, free of criticism, where the goal is quantity of ideas, rather than judgement of their validity.
The following are 3 team-based exercises that you can use to extract a high volume of ideas (for additional exercises, download the Innovation Workshop plan).
Sometimes social inhibitions can stifle freedom of expression in group settings. If you think some your team may suffer from this, here’s a useful exercise to start off with:
This exercise is about using your session target statement to look at the problem from a new perspective:
This is an exploration of what’s possible without any of the normally assumed limitations to a problem or challenge:
Remember that this step is about idea generation. Not idea assessment. To learn how to evaluate and refine ideas to identify the winners, use the exercises in the Innovation Workshop plan.
If you have questions on this topic or any others, feel free to reach me by email or set up a free one-on-one consultation session, or drop me a comment below.
Thanks for sharing!