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Brainstorming And Ideation Overview

Provides an overview of the different forms of brainstorming and ideation and some best practices

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Brainstorming And Ideation Overview

  1. 1. Brainstorming Approach March 4, 2008
  2. 2. Goals for today <ul><li>Define innovation and ideation – what’s the relationship between them </li></ul><ul><li>Look at different types of ideation </li></ul><ul><li>Review a best practices approach for ideation </li></ul><ul><li>Answer your questions about ideation and how we can help </li></ul>
  3. 3. Definition of Innovation <ul><li>Innovation has as many definitions as there are people in the room </li></ul><ul><li>We often use the word assuming other people have the same definition </li></ul><ul><li>It’s critical that everyone has the same definition for good communication </li></ul>
  4. 4. OVO’s Definition <ul><li>Innovation is people putting ideas into valuable action </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation is not just “creativity” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation is not just idea generation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation requires putting ideas into action – developing new products and services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Those new products and services need to drive value for the business </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Your Definition <ul><li>What’s the common definition of innovation for Your Firm? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Should the focus be on disruptive or radical ideas, or incremental change, or both? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Should the innovators consider ideas that may become new products and services, new processes, new strategies/business models? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who should be involved? How broadly is the innovation capability distributed? Internal only? Channels? Partners? Customers? </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Innovation and ideation <ul><li>Brainstorming or Ideation ≠ Innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Think of innovation as a business process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Generating ideas happens first </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then capturing and evaluating the ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then prototyping or market validation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then transfer the ideas to new product development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then the ideas are launched </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All of these steps are included in an innovation process </li></ul><ul><li>Ideation is most relevant in the first phases </li></ul>
  7. 7. Define brainstorming and ideation <ul><li>Brainstorming is the generation of ideas, in a face to face setting </li></ul><ul><li>However, ideation can take place in a distributed fashion: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Distributed ideation, when the participants are available at the same time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Asynchronous” ideation or idea jams are generation events for distributed team members that last for several days or weeks </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Forms <ul><li>Brainstorm – usually conducted with less than 15 people, in a room, writing ideas on a flip chart </li></ul><ul><li>Ideation – usually conducted online, in a distributed fashion. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Live </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Or as an Idea Jam </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Live Distributed Ideation <ul><li>A team forms and generates ideas, but they interact in a distributed basis. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For example, individuals from London, Raleigh and Palo Alto can all “meet” to submit ideas online at the same time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The same rules apply as in a face to face event </li></ul>
  10. 10. Idea Jam – Distributed ideation <ul><li>A team forms and generates ideas, but in a distributed fashion. Individuals can “check in” and submit ideas and “check out” over a period of days or weeks </li></ul><ul><li>Same rules apply, just a longer timeframe </li></ul>
  11. 11. Other techniques <ul><li>Mind Mapping – good visual technique typically used on an individual basis </li></ul><ul><li>Brainwriting – writing down ideas and passing them around rather than open dialog and discussion </li></ul>
  12. 12. When to use each approach <ul><li>Brainstorming </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When the participants are co-located or can easily meet face to face </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When the topics are more strategic and less breadth of perspective is necessary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When time is of the essence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When the subject is fairly specific </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When the topic is proprietary or sensitive </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. When to use each approach <ul><li>Live Framed Challenge </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When the participants are easy to identify but distributed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When time is of the essence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When you need to incorporate more points of view </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When you want to include a partner or third party virtually </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. When to use each approach <ul><li>Idea Jam </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When you need a broad audience or perspective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When the challenge or opportunity is less time sensitive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To encourage broad involvement or engagement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To incorporate more partners or consumers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When the topic or subject requires more thoughtful investigation </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Ideation Best practices <ul><li>Planning </li></ul><ul><li>“ Framing” the problem or opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Follow best practice ideation “rules” </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitation </li></ul><ul><li>Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation criteria / ranking or voting methods </li></ul><ul><li>Action after the event </li></ul>
  16. 16. Best Practices - Planning <ul><li>Three phases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pre-work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Defining the topic </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identifying the participants </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Establishing goals and timeframes </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideation Event </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post-event </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ranking/evaluating </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Taking action </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Follow up communication </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Best Practices - Framing <ul><li>Many ideation events are ineffective because there’s no clear problem or opportunity that all the participants agree on </li></ul><ul><li>We recommend a close “framing” of the problem, challenge or opportunity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First, define the topic as a POTT </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Then, develop a framing document and other background detail </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Framing Problem/Opportunity/Trend/Threat <ul><li>POTT stands for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Problem </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trend </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Threat </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is your topic, and where does it fall within the framework? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Framing Document <ul><li>Goal: ensures that everyone who participates understands the goal of the brainstorm and the topic. </li></ul><ul><li>The framing document provides context so everyone starts from the same “page”. </li></ul><ul><li>The framing document also establishes scope , so the team knows what’s valuable and what’s expected </li></ul>
  20. 20. Framing <ul><li>Ideation is often unsatisfactory because the participants don’t understand the opportunity or problem </li></ul><ul><li>Framing the problem, providing background and scope, helps set the stage and get everyone on the “same page” </li></ul><ul><li>It indicates the types of ideas that will fulfill the challenge and keeps people within certain guidelines </li></ul>
  21. 21. Brainstorming Rules <ul><li>There are accepted best practice rules for ideation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Every idea is a good idea </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The ideas belong to the group, not to an individual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generate a lot of ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t worry about duplicates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage “wild” or strange ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t judge ideas as they are being generated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offer ideas and solutions, not problems or barriers </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Facilitation <ul><li>An ideation event, like any good meeting, requires excellent facilitation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To encourage participation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subtly redirect the conversation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To add ideas that may be controversial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To ask the “stupid” question </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To elicit further thoughts or feedback from all participants </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Facilitation <ul><li>Just like any well-run meeting, an event has a meeting facilitator who plans and conducts the event </li></ul><ul><li>Given the requirements of good facilitation, it is not easy for a person who has a “stake” in the idea or outcome to manage a brainstorm </li></ul><ul><li>Internal or external consultants can offer objectivity and encourage dialog when it would be difficult for internal resources </li></ul>
  24. 24. Communications <ul><li>Alert the team a week or two in advance of the event </li></ul><ul><li>Send a framing document several days before the event starts </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to communicate effectively during the event </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up to thank the participants and demonstrate action on the ideas </li></ul>
  25. 25. Timeframes <ul><li>Live brainstorm – from 30 minutes to two days, depending on framing and subject </li></ul><ul><li>Live ideation– generally no more than 2 to 3 hours </li></ul><ul><li>Idea Jam – 10 days or less </li></ul>
  26. 26. Categorize/Group <ul><li>Once the idea generation is complete, it makes sense to have the team </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide more details about an idea where necessary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Categorize the ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Group ideas that are redundant or similar </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Evaluation Criteria <ul><li>Determine how you’ll rank or evaluate the ideas before the event begins </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Straight” voting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Preference voting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ranking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who does this, and what’s the process and timeframe? </li></ul>
  28. 28. Best Practices Recap <ul><li>Planning </li></ul><ul><li>“ Framing” the problem or opportunity </li></ul><ul><li>Follow best practice ideation “rules” </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitation </li></ul><ul><li>Communications </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation criteria / ranking or voting methods </li></ul><ul><li>Action after the event </li></ul>
  29. 29. Who to invite <ul><li>When considering who to invite to a an ideation event, include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Those immediately involved in the problem or opportunity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A broad cross-section of business functions – marketing, sales, customer support, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People within the channel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experts </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Other items to consider <ul><li>On-site versus off-site </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How focused are your participants on their “day job” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inviting customers and partners </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Concerns about expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Inviting experts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sometimes helpful to invite “experts” to participate </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. About OVO <ul><li>OVO is a consulting and software development firm helping our clients build sustainable innovation capabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>We work primarily with large, distributed organizations that seek to make innovation a consistent, repeatable capability </li></ul><ul><li>Our clients include many Fortune 500 companies and mid-sized ones as well </li></ul>
  32. 32. OVO Capabilities <ul><li>We help firms Innovate on Purpose™ by defining strategic goals and implementing consistent processes </li></ul><ul><li>Our capabilities include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitated Ideation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation Process definition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Definition of roles and responsibilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assisting with culture, communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defining innovation metrics </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. About Me <ul><li>Jeffrey Phillips </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One of the lead consultants from OVO </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Active in a number of innovation projects for Fortune 500 firms </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Author of the just published book – Make us more Innovative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Author of the Innovate on Purpose blog and numerous magazine articles and white papers on innovation </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Wrap Up <ul><li>Contact Us </li></ul><ul><ul><li>By phone: 919-848-8675 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>By email: [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Web: </li></ul></ul>