How to run a brainstorm or ideation 3: after

This is part three of a three-piece series called Brainstorm Basics: how to run an ideas session when you have limited time and money. The other two videos were about what to do before and during an ideation to make sure you get it right.

In this video, we’ll share what to do now that you have a range of ideas. One of the main reasons “ideations don’t work” is because there is poor follow-up. Often the focus is more on getting creative and having fun, rather than thinking through how these ideas would actually work. We understand the excitement and importance of letting go of the outcome to come up with new thinking, but it is equally important to think through how to implement these. Without implementation, ideas go nowhere.

In their book The Other Side of Innovation, Vijay Govindarajan and Chris Trimble use the analogy of mountaineering: most people focus on the way up to the summit, but most people die on the way down. The same goes here.

So, here are the bare essentials to tick off after your session to bring back home your ideas:

RECORD EVERYTHING

What good are ideas if they stay in your head, your notebook or in your digital devices? Regardless of what the plan forward is, as a first step, always make a record of everything that happened in your session, so you can share it with others and find it again later.

Make sure you know what was what, i.e. ideas vs data vs insights vs tasks, etc. Database your ideas and tag them properly so you can always find them later, as these are a great source of stimulus and to make sure you don’t keep reinventing the wheel.

FILTER & REFINE

Chances are you are not going to chase every idea that came out of your session – we sure hope you don’t. So there comes a time to select a few ideas to take forward and that time is now. Look at the criteria you agreed on before running this session and use those as lenses to look through the ideas to find the gold.

Once you have agreed on a handful of ideas, you’ll need to work them up a bit more, so they become more robust. Note, the more you think things through here, the better your chances are of getting it right. This is not a time to be nice, but rather to find all the loopholes and then closing them. If necessary, sift through your other ideas and find useful bits and pieces to add.

BUILD A PITCH

Chances are someone else is going to decide whether these ideas are a go or not, so it’s important the ideas get presented in context to understand the rationale behind them. This is a time to pitch your ideas in a way that get others excited and behind them. A pitch is also a chance to creative around how you bring it to life and engage the audience. There are many ways to pitch ideas, but at a minimum, make sure your pitch has these elements:

– Review the brief. Yes the person who you are pitching to is probably the brief owner, but it’s always good to recap the brief and make sure you are all on the same page.
– Share the idea in a way that engages and excites. What is your idea to tackle the brief and how does it work.
– Why this idea is exciting. Here you state why your audience should be investing in this. After all, if you are not excited about it, why would anyone else be?
– Resources needed to make things happen. Usually you will need some people, some money and some time.
– And finally, what are the immediate actions coming out of this to make this a success?

If you want to see a straightforward way to do this, click here and download our ideas example pitch. Keep in mind that it does not have to be slides; but it might just be a good place to start.

Now go make these ideas happen!



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