Never ever ever start with Ideation! We’re up on the proverbial soap box with how ideation is supposed to work. With years of experience, we see most great ideas rarely get traction. So, for your literary pleasure, we prepared our thoughts on ideation.

How to Get from Wild Ideas to Game-Changing Plays in One Day or Less

While innovation extravaganzas are fun, they rarely work.

If you find yourself thinking more about the experience of your last ideation session than that new high-growth game-changing idea you’re moving forward, join the crowd. Ideation sessions are not created equal. Here are three reasons why most fall short:

  1. The focus on entertainment, experience, and engagement overrides the need for high growth concepts. It is difficult to entertain and engage, AND produce lightning bolt ideas.
  2. Idea sorting is reduced to “can do” and “can’t do” buckets resulting in incremental innovations at best. Most “can do” initiatives will work to help protect your business but will do little to build towards a future of growth.
  3. Success is measured by volume of ideas vs. quality of ideas. Witness the onset of crowdsourcing methods and the notion that more ideas equals better ideas.

In creativity, the math doesn’t add up. 1000 people + 1000 ideas = 0 ideas.

Three pre-session set-ups to get exactly what you need.

It’s the upfront work that drives results. And the starting point is consensus and clarity on exactly what you are seeking.

For example, are you looking for one high growth new initiative or are you looking to engage 10,000 employees to jumpstart an innovation culture?

Sometimes it’s difficult to get both.

  1. At onset, determine what your REAL goals are. We often create two different events, one for engagement, and one for great growth concepts. As you might imagine, different goals are achieved with different session agendas.
  2. Create idea sorting and classification systems by growth potential. Create a sorting system that will align ideas with the growth function they must serve. Productivity boosts, incremental improvements, above industry average growth? When you leave the ideation table, you’ll know if you have what you need.
  3. Create an ideation session exercise agenda that will generate the types of ideas you need. Use exercises, filters, timing, and discussions to move quickly and deliberately.

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