In today’s rapidly evolving world of marketing, having the best and freshest idea is a crucial way to set you apart from your competition. While you might be familiar with running a routine boardroom brainstorming session to generate ideas, without the right structure, these can end up being unproductive.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you facilitate your next ideation or team brainstorm.
# 1 Start with the goal in mind
Before you kickstart any ideation session, it is important that all participants clearly understand the goals and objectives of the brief they are working on, from the project’s KPIs, its target market, and the respective deliverables required. This helps to focus the discussion and ensures that the ideas generated align with the task at hand. Any existing information and insights to provide further context should also be shared with the group before they begin ideating.
#2 Ensure everyone present is heard
Ideation sessions work best when all participants are encouraged to contribute. As a facilitator, you should create a safe and inclusive environment that allows everyone to share their ideas without fear of criticism or judgment. Encourage all participants to share their thoughts and opinions, no matter how unconventional they may sometimes seem. Ensuring everyone plays a part in the ideation not only helps create a personal vested interest in the final outcome by the individuals involved, and also helps to establish a culture of inclusivity within the group that will further strengthen future ideation sessions as well.
#3 Don’t dismiss any ideas
We all know that not all ideas make it out of the boardroom, but it is important not to dismiss any new ideas and solutions prematurely. After all, unconventional ideas can offer a different perspective on the product or service that you are working on. Even if some ideas might not seem feasible at first glance, they can work as stepping stones to spark further discussions and lead to better and more innovative solutions. During the ideation session, remember to constantly encourage participants to build upon each other’s ideas, and always seek to understand the reasoning and thinking behind each suggestion to better understand the thought process of the creative.
#4 Narrow down the most promising ideas
After generating a vast number of initial ideas, it is important to set time aside to review and analyse them and determine those that are most feasible and actionable. Facilitators should lead the discussion to prioritise the most promising ideas based on the parameters of the brief. This helps the team focus on improving and diving deeper into the ideas that have the highest potential for
#5 Conduct a review within 24 hours
Once the ideation session is over, be sure to share the meeting notes and conduct a review of the ideas within 24 hours. This gives everyone involved a chance to process them further while ensuring the ideation momentum of the session is not lost. The review should focus on analysing and refining the shortlisted ideas based on feasibility and impact, as well as looking for potential challenges in execution while developing a plan for implementation.
While running an effective ideation session should allow for some fluidity, careful initial planning, encouraging active participation, and ensuring openness to new ideas are the key to the next big idea to take your business to the next level.