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3 key ingredients to your next creativity workshop

speakers-cornerI just got invited to a creative workshop that is supposed to synchronise ideas about a future product. When this workshop got announced it was announced to far too many people in the room with more than necessary kinds of experience. The idea was to be brainstorming.

With no clear goal..

So what do you expect when many people of different trades get together to brainstorm for a few hours with no clear vision of the result?

I expect a great loss of time and money and no result at all.

Everyone will have an opinion about what to do and everybody will say that their field of expertise is of utmost importance and must not be forgotten. In the end you you have a list of important things to remember all only loosely connected.

So what is needed?

I asked for a methodology. Anything that helps to structure this workshop by setting a clear goal and providing time boxes to get there.

Creativity can happen in small timeframes. Just a few minutes and a key question are enough to get ideas coming. If you get your timeframe too long you will end up with the same number of ideas but each one will have matured as people like to go into detail once their hooked on their own idea. And matured ideas will be defended heavily and can not easily be dumped.

For me the key ingredients to a successful creativity workshop are:

  • vision – tell me what has to be the result
  • questions – guide me towards the solution
  • time boxing – small intense sprints that allow dismissal of ideas

There are various methodologies that provide more or less all of the above but in different flavors. I guess any will do if it suits you well.



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