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Running ideation workshops

From: Business Innovation Fundamentals

Video: Running ideation workshops

You can use an innovation method like SIT on your own. But there are times when you want to use it in a group with your colleagues. After all, innovation is a team sport. Innovating in groups lets you harness the brain power of others. In this video, I want to share with you some tips and techniques to get the most out of your group ideation session. Perhaps the most important step is to select the right participants The ideal number of participants is between 12 and 16.

Running ideation workshops

You can use an innovation method like SIT on your own. But there are times when you want to use it in a group with your colleagues. After all, innovation is a team sport. Innovating in groups lets you harness the brain power of others. In this video, I want to share with you some tips and techniques to get the most out of your group ideation session. Perhaps the most important step is to select the right participants The ideal number of participants is between 12 and 16.

And these people should be from diverse cross-functional areas of the company. About one-third of the participants should be marketers from different parts of the marketing organization. Market research, brand management, and so on. About one-third of the participants should be technical, mechanical engineering, software engineering, operations, and so on, depending on the project. And finally, about one-third of your participants should be customer oriented. These are people that advocate for your customer.

They include your sales people perhaps packaging and customer service. It's also important to have gender diversity An equal number of men and women is the ideal. Be sure participants are fully committed to participation in the workshop. Avoid letting people just drop in and out as it suits their schedule. Otherwise it interrupts the flow of the workshop. When you begin your workshop start by identifying the constraints around the exercise.

Without constraints the ideation will lack focus. You'll likely generate ideas that are too wild to be considered viable. Next, make sure you and the participants define the closed world around the problem. The closed world principal states that there is an inverse relationship between the distance from the problem and the creativeness of the idea. The farther away the solution the less creative it will be. Where you define this imaginary space around the problem will have a big impact on how you apply each technique.

Once you select the techniques create a list of the components and attributes by writing them down on a whiteboard, a flip chart, or a pad of paper. But with division, it's a good idea to put these on sticky notes. Make sure you number the list. That helps keep the workshop more organized as you work through the lists. When you apply a technique be sure to work in smaller teams of two or three people Not as one large group. Working this way has many advantages.

Pairs give each other their undivided attention. Working in pairs is also more efficient. As you apply a technique assign each pair a different component from the list. That forces them to really focus and it increases their chance of coming up with a creative idea. Also, be sure to set time limits. Say, three minutes. This further constrains their brain to think inside the box. When ideas are generated try not to identify ideas with a specific person.

Otherwise people may bias the idea depending on who generated it. A simple way to do this is to have people write down their ideas. So when giving credit for the source of an idea make sure it's from the pair of colleagues. Not just one person. You have to find ways to strip ideas of their identity. This will make sure ideas don't get thrown out prematurely. A typical workshop can be anywhere from an hour in length to several days. Innovating is hard work.

So be sure to manage the groups' energy level. Take lots of breaks during the workshop and mix up the activities to keep people engaged. The SIT method works because it channels people's ideation process and it regulates their thinking. You and your colleagues will generate many great ideas. So be sure the team has a process in place on how you will capture and collect those ideas throughout the workshop.

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This video is part of

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Business Innovation Fundamentals

58 video lessons · 3243 viewers

Drew Boyd
Author

 
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  1. 1m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 22s
    2. Using the exercise files
      19s
  2. 21m 37s
    1. What is innovation? Introducing Systematic Inventive Thinking
      3m 21s
    2. The principle of function follows form
      4m 8s
    3. The closed-world principle
      4m 16s
    4. Characteristics of innovative products and services
      3m 51s
    5. Challenging the myth of thinking outside the box
      3m 11s
    6. Challenging the myth of serendipity
      2m 50s
  3. 11m 55s
    1. Functional fixedeness
      2m 26s
    2. The subtraction technique
      2m 59s
    3. Subtraction in action
      4m 8s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 22s
  4. 10m 35s
    1. Structural fixedness
      2m 32s
    2. The division technique
      2m 43s
    3. Division in action
      3m 3s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 17s
  5. 16m 25s
    1. The multiplication technique
      4m 24s
    2. Multiplication in action
      4m 39s
    3. Zooming in and zooming out
      4m 51s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 31s
  6. 15m 45s
    1. The task-unification technique
      4m 19s
    2. Task unification in action
      4m 14s
    3. Using task unification for business issues
      4m 27s
    4. Addressing common challenges
      2m 45s
  7. 17m 49s
    1. The attribute dependency technique
      3m 32s
    2. Creating an attribute dependency matrix
      3m 37s
    3. Types of dependencies
      4m 12s
    4. Attribute dependency in action
      4m 31s
    5. Addressing common challenges
      1m 57s
  8. 27m 7s
    1. Running ideation workshops
      4m 13s
    2. Which technique to use
      3m 26s
    3. Creating new services and processes
      3m 17s
    4. Creating digital innovations
      5m 12s
    5. Involving customers
      5m 49s
    6. Evaluating ideas
      5m 10s
  9. 14m 48s
    1. Mastering innovative thinking
      3m 42s
    2. Building a pilot program
      3m 56s
    3. Addressing organizational challenges with innovation
      4m 3s
    4. Next steps
      3m 7s
  10. 52m 41s
    1. About Drew
      2m 9s
    2. What is innovation?
      51s
    3. What got Drew started in innovation?
      2m 15s
    4. On innovation as a skill
      1m 53s
    5. On innovation as part of your business
      1m 58s
    6. On resistance to innovation
      3m 31s
    7. On innovation's tainted image
      2m 34s
    8. Where do you apply innovation strategies?
      2m 31s
    9. Who should lead an innovation effort?
      3m 6s
    10. On favorite innovation experiences
      3m 51s
    11. On innovation vs. strategy
      3m 36s
    12. On working with innovation consultants
      3m 20s
    13. On trends in innovation
      3m 26s
    14. On innovation as competition
      2m 32s
    15. On innovative companies
      2m 43s
    16. On generating vs. executing ideas
      3m 2s
    17. Can you overdo innovation?
      2m 1s
    18. How do you start innovating?
      3m 44s
    19. On the most innovative products
      3m 38s

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