At Guerilla we make a science out of ideas. Below are a few of the best ways to get more out of an idea generating session, blue-skies, planning, brainstorms, team conflab, call it what you will.
Some are simple truths: Morning meetings work best; 4 – 10 participants should take part; and chocolates always spur creativity. Some, like those outlined below, are a bit more refined.
Big hairy audacious goals, the bigger the challenge the better the thinking. There is a real difference between – increasing awareness and becoming the UK’s favourite, selling more and doubling sales.
2. Suspend belief
No preordained barriers or hang ups to enter the room. Much bigger than the usual no negatives rule, anything is possible is the key attitude.
3. Write everything up
Flip pad, white board or high tech gizmo makes no difference, we all like to see our ideas on the list.
4. Build and jump
Start slowly allow time to think, a good leader will have a range of prompts and thoughts to throw in to get the room thinking creatively, but will step away and let the ideas flow once the room warms up, then jump in again and re-focus as the ideas slow down.
5. Take the notes with you
Good facilitators should also write ideas down on an accessible surface. But whatever you do make sure that the team know you value their idea and want to keep them. Take the notes with you.
6. Warm up well
Brainstorming should be a sprint a burst of creative energy focused on a goal. But training helps – send notes to participants in advance, gather competitor evidence, look at previous work, look for examples from other sectors where quantum leaps have been made. A really successful warm up might be to go out and try the product or service.
At Guerilla we have a think zone, with comfy sofas, a table-football game, room to stand and throw ideas around – and easy access to the kettle. It simply does not cut it in a meeting room with everyone around a table. Try standing up, pacing around, whatever works for you, it won’t be what you do the rest of the time, to think differently, you need to feel different.
8. Play away
One of the best ideas sessions we ever had was held in a zoo. Get out of the office, think bigger make sure you have the physical space to let your ideas grow.
9 Short and sweet
Do not have a preagreed meeting length, when the ideas dry up wrap up. If you have not got enough ideas, staying for another hour staring at each other will not help. Try a different day, time of day, location or mix of people.
10 Call in Guerilla
We love brainstorming, lets chat and see if some Guerilla thinking can help achieve that BAG. It is amazing the difference an external body can make.