Finding the right people for a team is a challenge, while ideation dry spells are another. Whether it’s for a marketing campaign or formulating a solution to a problem, sharing ideas is an integral part of the process. It aids in decision-making, strategy executions, and ultimately the direction of any business. Everything and anything starts with an idea, followed by a string of ideas for its continuity. This is true for any project in your business. But the only resource that brings these ideas to the table is people. But no matter how experienced and diverse a team is, there will be days when the ideas stop coming.
This is normal. People are people, after all; they can get drained or feel uninspired sometimes. Sometimes, all they really need is a push, but the stakes are high with the new inventions and brilliant creations we see today. Upskilling or reskilling through cognos training courses or marketing seminars will also help to expand your team’s knowledge.
To make the most of your team’s talents, aid them with these ideation and problem-solving tips.
Get Ideas From a Diverse Group of People
Two heads are better than one, as they say. But in a brainstorming session, more than two is best. Different experiences and diverse backgrounds are beneficial for interesting angles and unique takes in brainstorming. Human experiences are an irreplaceable resource and essential tool for the ideation process. One idea could trigger another idea, so on so forth. A have people with diverse backgrounds in your team. Have an artist, an analytical person, a people-person, a street-smart person, someone in the industry, etc.
To have a fruitful and goal-oriented discussion, be sure to foster a judge-free environment. Set this as a rule during these sessions to encourage all ideas to be thrown out there. Question these ideas to help them think of possibilities. This will eventually lead the idea to take form and possibly become a game plan later on.
When it comes to these types of discussions, a free-flow structure is best. However, while throwing ideas back and forth, it’s easy to lose track of time. To keep the discussion goal-oriented and time-conscious, be clear about the objects from the start and share a time limit. This will help direct the flow of the discussion remain focused without sacrificing creativity.
Encourage All Ideas
There are no right or wrong ideas, just over-the-top, mellow ones, and more. Some ideas can be practical, while some can be funny or even absurd. Encourage everyone to take advantage of this judgment-free zone. A great way to do so is by acknowledging everyone’s ideas from the very start. This can be done visually (e.g., writing their ideas on a whiteboard) or verbally (e.g. summarizing or consolidating the ideas that were just shared). Acknowledging their input can make them feel valued and raises their self-esteem.
Utilize Ideation Tools
Using ideation tools is not a sign of defeat. The team will encounter days when the creative juices aren’t flowing as much, especially if they feel burned out or uninspired. For days like this, ideation tools can be handy. It’s not about letting these tools do the thinking for everyone. It’s about having a starting point for the ideation process. These tools can range from a deck of cards filled with industry-relevant terminology to trend maps, or any resource online can be a tool. These can even be as simple as news articles and threads online. Reading material can give new insights and spark ideas. Don’t shy away from these tools. These could even be the little push your team needs to get their gears going.
Don’t Forget to Use Ideation Techniques, Too
A couple of the most common ideation techniques there are brainstorming and mind mapping. It helps to know other techniques to switch it up a bit from time to time. S.C.A.M.P.E.R. (substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put to another use, eliminate, and reverse) is a technique used to refine current products and create new ones. Each letter is a prompt to guide the flow of the discussion, which makes it helpful to keep the ideas going. Another technique is called body storming. This consumer-centered approach involves anchoring the discussion on the perspective of the acting consumer. A little simulation can be a refreshing break from a normal discussion.
A little push isn’t so bad. As one can imagine, doing something brain-heavy often is draining. Naturally, the mind recuperates in its own way. But meaningful discussions and unexpected problems remind everyone to think on their feet. Instead of getting caught off guard, have these tricks up your sleeve to help your team jumpstart their ideation process.