Welcome Welcome back to innovation training Today we’ll quickly recap the learnings from the last program Then turn our attention to idea generation techniques
Recap In our first session we looked at the relationship between innovation and strategy We created definitions for innovation to define scope We created innovation charters and defined innovation model facets Finally, we examined some appropriate metrics and goals for innovation
Recap Last session we examined trends and customer insight tools and techniques We looked at methods to understand and capture customer unmet and undermet needs We outlined a strategy mapping process to identify likely opportunities We had a brief introduction to customer experience journey and scenario planning
Discussion Any thoughts or comments on what we covered last time? Has anyone had the opportunity to put any of that into practice?
Pre-work You were assigned two short white papers on ideation techniques and a book from Roger von Oech What are your takeaways from your reading? How many of you have participated in “brainstorming” or other ideation efforts?
Goals for this section Our goal this section – Examine a number of ideation techniques – Try out a few, including the facilitation of a live brainstorm
Key Points Most of you are familiar with “brainstorming” but may have experienced varying results – There’s more to a good brainstorm than some people gathered in a conference room There are other ideation tools and is relevant to specific types of generation and idea types – We’ll review a few from the reading Examine the “best practices” for ideation and try some out
Idea Generation Ideas are constantly generated within your organization. While interesting, they often don’t align to your real needs Most people have participated in “brainstorms” and assume that this is the only approach to structured ideation Many people believe that creativity and ideation can’t be managed
Idea Generation As opposed to an “open suggestion” submission of ideas, formal idea generation techniques seek to generate ideas (usually in a group setting) for a specific opportunity or challenge This “directed ideation” serves to create more ideas and obtain involvement from a wider audience.
Open Suggestion A good innovation program makes room for open suggestion but does not rely on this approach for the majority of the ideas Some people generate ideas more effectively outside the ideation process However, open suggestion and unstructured brainstorming often diverge from corporate strategies and needs
Agenda for Today Review a number of idea generation techniques Review the best practices for idea generation Conduct a brief brainstorming exercise using best practices Review and implement several other idea generation techniques
Experiences What have been your experiences with brainstorming? – Good experiences – Challenges/failures What caused it to work well or poorly for you?
Techniques We’ve considered and you’ve read about a number of techniques, including: – Brainstorming – Brain-writing – “bugs-me” list / journal – Guaranteed success/Guaranteed failure – Reduce/Eliminate/Increase (from Blue Ocean) – Mind-mapping – Restating the problem – Analogies from other industries
Settings There are at least two types of settings for most idea generation activities: – Live, face to face or distributed – Rolling, asynchronous The first is generally considered a brainstorm or workshop, or can be conducted over a teleconference The second is generally called an idea campaign or idea jam
Rationale Face to face – More intensive, more interactive – Smaller, more focused teams – Shorter timeframe, easier to scale – Fewer, more distinct ideas – Less overhead and administration Campaigns – Much broader participation – Many more ideas generated – Longer time period – Encourages broad involvement – Need a software application to capture and share ideas – More planning and administration required
Best Practices Creativity and idea generation have been carefully studied There are a number of best practices that can dramatically improve the outcome of any ideation session We’ll examine a few of those best practices now
Statement of the Opportunity State the problem or opportunity in such a way that encourages discovery and creativity Ideation sessions and idea generation is difficult on very limited concepts or yes/no type questions Use open ended questions to encourage creative thinking – From “Reduce costs 10 percent” to How can we dramatically reduce the cost of manufacturing?
Right tool for the goal Generally speaking, the more people involved, the less disruptive or radical the ideas will become This is because it is hard to get the group dynamics right – for radical thinking everyone has to be “on board” The implication is that smaller teams are more likely to have more disruptive ideas Idea campaigns and public brainstorms are great for incremental innovation
Group Ideation Live brainstorms are simply well run meetings that have: – An agenda – A clear scope and purpose – Rules and expectations of the participants – Pre-work – Follow up actions – Great facilitation In unsuccessful ideation sessions, one or more of these factors is missing
Agenda / Scope Successful ideation sessions start with a clear purpose and scope You must identify a reasonable opportunity to address or a clear challenge or problem to solve This must be stated so that everyone is on the “same page” at the start of the event and so they understand the focus of the idea generation
Rules There are basically seven cardinal rules for successful group brainstorming – Every idea is a good idea – No judging during generation – Build on each other’s ideas – One conversation at a time – Ideas belong to the group – Encourage “wild” ideas – Go for quantity not necessarily quality
Pre-Work Good ideation requires that people come to the event prepared They must understand the challenge or problem and the scope or space within which to ideate Good communication of the scope and any background or source material is important Otherwise much of the meeting is used getting participants “up to speed”
Framing Document To ensure we communicate our expectations effectively and to help shape the thinking of the invited participants, we recommend the creation of a “framing document” This document is provided to the participants a day or two before the session to help inform and shape their thinking.
Contents A framing document contains – An overview or introduction to the challenge or opportunity – Identification of background material to review beforehand – How the brainstorm will be conducted – Key topics for consideration – What the expected outcomes are for the ideas
Exercise Let’s review and build a “framing document” to present to the team for brainstorming
Discussion What do you take away from the exercise?
Key Takeaways Good idea generation is based on careful preparation, good facilitation and clear goals and expected outcomes There are a number of techniques that can be applied, for live sessions and distributed sessions, group or individual work Our goal is not to make you an expert but to demonstrate some of the tools and provide best practices