This blog series complements our free, in-depth guide to using structured ideation methods to generate better ideas, better tests, and better decisions. This guide was developed in partnership with our partner Conductrics.
Our earlier posts covered what structured ideation is and described some methods, including heuristic analysis and comparative analysis, that you can use to make valuable hypothesis generation and validation part of your workflow. Of the six methods in the guide, the ideation workshop is the one that asks the marketers, business owners, designers and developers to get inside the needs of the customer through customer empathy brainstorming.
Chapter 5: Ideation Workshop
The goal of an ideation workshop is to create a safe space for team members to float new ideas and discuss them without judgment or criticism. While it will be important later on to narrow down the ideas floated during this ideation session, it’s just as important to focus on how to spark innovative ways of thinking.
If you’re wondering how to run an ideation session, there isn’t a single best way. The goal is to set up a structured environment with the tools you have to inspire outside-the-box thinking from everyone.
Ideation techniques used in a structured approach differ from ordinary brainstorming by eliminating the systemic flaws in thinking that plague most groups. Approaches such as Design Thinking or Goals-Problems-Solutions Mapping (GPS) encourage participation from everyone, rather than the two or three people who usually dominate ideation sessions like this.
Using the information and examples in Chapter 5, you’ll be able to plan and implement a productive ideation workshop during the earliest phases of a project — almost before you’ve done anything else — and get the benefits of multiple good ideas to work on throughout the project timeline.
When properly guided, your sessions should promote a customer-centric view of the problems you’re working to solve, stir up empathy for each other and for the customers you’re trying to reach, and combat the normal biases that affect thinking in the creative space.
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- Assess your current state, prioritize issues, and work on your most important problems in sequence, which helps maximize your ROI
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Keep an eye on this space for more chapter summaries and helpful tips for maturing your optimization program.