How Do You Conduct an Ideation Workshop?
One of the earliest tasks is to find a qualified moderator – almost always a professional from outside your company who has experience running such exercises. Next, in order to obtain the broadest possible feedback, between 8 and 12 members from inside your organization should be invited to participate. They should possess a diversity of traits or characteristics, e.g. gender, age group, management level, job function. In the workshop, all individuals and their ideas should be treated equally, without judgment or bias. Participants may not know each other, and except for their first names, need no further identification.
- There are a number of commonly used personality “tests” that help to place people into certain categories. Myers-Briggs for example, asks a set of questions after which people are assigned to one of 16 personality types, some of whom may be more introverted, extroverted, intuitive, analytical, or creative.
Rules or constraints may be set up to force people to think in new and different ways. For example:
- Because of shortages or price increases, what if you could not use certain ingredients or materials to produce a product?
- How could you complete a task in half the time or for half the cost?
- How would a company in another industry address the problem?
The session leader will ordinarily have certain items available in the meeting room:
- Post it notes of different colors and sizes
- Flip charts
- White boards
- Markers in different colors
- Toys, objects or games to reduce tension, create a fun atmosphere, and stimulate out-of-the-box thinking
Participants may be asked to co-create or create drawings or simple sketches and place them around the room for others to see and react to. This co-creation dives deep below the surface to uncover intuitive insight. Diagrams may be used to connect and rearrange words, pictures, ideas and concepts. It is important to hear from everyone in an environment where there are no wrong answers or statements.