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Brainstorming For Innovation

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creativity is only one small part of the skill set required to run a successful brainstorm or worshop. The perspective of a UK innovation consultancy.

creativity is only one small part of the skill set required to run a successful brainstorm or worshop. The perspective of a UK innovation consultancy.

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  • 1. B R A N D D E V E LO P M E N T
  • 2. B R A N D D E V E LO P M E N T Brainstorming The best way to The most creative workshops aren’t get a good idea is always the most productive! to get lots of ideas A lot of emphasis is placed on the need for creativity tools when brainstorming, Linus Pauling, American Nobel whilst these are important, they are by prize-winning chemist no means the only ingredient necessary for a successful brainstorm. Having the right challenge, the right people, the right process and fresh stimulus and are also incredibly important… It’s only when all the elements of your workshop are in complete alignment that the investment of time, brain- power and resources you put in – will produce the genius output you seek.
  • 3. B R A N D D E V E LO P M E N T Challenge To be really successful a brainstorm must have an appropriate challenge to work against and the right agenda to guide people towards a creative solution. Framing the challenge is incredibly important. Set too directive a challenge and you will quickly inhibit the team’s creativity, set too loose a challenge and 5 Golden you will end up with few relevant solutions. Always set an open Rules: challenge and make sure it is defined in term of the solution’s consumer, not the solution itself (e.g. a new breakfast to consume on the move, rather than a new individually wrapped cereal bar). 1. Problem focus 2. Seek opportunities 3. Be brave 4. Use gut feel 5. Back what excites you
  • 4. B R A N D D E V E LO P M E N T People Choosing the right team is absolutely critical to a successful output. To maximise creativity you need to ensure you have a broadly based, cross-functional team capable of exploring all the facets of the challenge. L LABORATIV CO E The right mind-set is also key. Your EN MINDED delegates need to be open-minded and willing to explore new and innovative POSITIVE ways of addressing your challenge – rather than obsessed with the status quo. OP Your delegates have to be willing to invest time in advance of the session CR OS AL and happy to give your workshop S - F U N C TI O N 100% of their attention whilst they are brainstorming. It is also important that they are willing to embrace a positive, can-do approach on the day – rather than one of guarded caution.
  • 5. B R A N D D E V E LO P M E N T Process You need to ensure your agenda structure is designed as a funnel – starting broad and working towards a consensus point. Begin by getting people to share their perspectives on the challenge; then progress to a free ranging, SHARING wide-open creative exploration session. Only once you have thoroughly explored the chal- EXPLORING lenge can you start to explore ways of filtering and prioritising your starter solutions. BROADENING Allow plenty of time for starter solutions to be evolved by the teams into detailed conceptual solutions and FILTERING allow people time to form the bonds that will turn them into concept champions. PRIORITISING Keep range of potential options open. If you try to progress to the solution too fast you are bound to miss potentially brilliant solution areas. Most importantly, work out a detailed timing plan. Whatever you do, do not allow timings to slip so that you fail to complete the agenda – however stimulating the debates you will leave delegates feeling unsatisfied and incomplete.
  • 6. B R A N D D E V E LO P M E N T Stimulus & Creativity Tools We open the challenge... CONSUMER INTERVIEWS Even the most creative group of people will produce only mediocre outputs if they are working with familiar materials. A well-framed “open” challenge on its own may help them spot fresh ways of dissecting the problem and creating a new solution. EXPERT WITNESS COMPETITOR PRODUCTS However, well planned and pre-sourced stimulus can be an incredibly powerful tool encouraging the team to see the problem from an undreamt of perspective. ...then choose creativity tools to focus the output Well chosen creativity tools are then the icing on the cake – allowing the team to address the challenge by harnessing their existing shared knowledge and inspired by the example of fresh stimulus.
  • 7. B R A N D D E V E LO P M E N T Top Tips for Better Brainstorming • Make sure you have a clear objective that engages everyone • Ensure you’ve framed your objective in an “open” way • Choose a bright, energetic, positive cross-functional team • Ensure you have a strong facilitator; open, experienced and preferably neutral • Book out a time when everyone can clear minds for at least a day • Choose a location with plenty of natural light, fresh air and lots space to move around • Make sure everyone knows each other, that they are in a space with people that will encourage their creativity • Bring along lots of fresh stimulus – no-one has fresh ideas when they are looking at the same stuff in the same old way • Plan exercises that encourage thinking stretch in lateral directions • Start by sharing knowledge; then reframe the challenge; then explore potential opportunities; and only then explore solutions • Don’t attempt a final assessment of your thinking until you have thoroughly reviewed all the concepts…you’ll miss the gems!
  • 8. B R A N D D E V E LO P M E N T If in doubt, call us….we’ll happily talk through your needs and prepare a quote for planning and implementing a workshop for you Telephone: +44 (0) 1491 411272

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