Idea generation is not a race!

In the quest for a long list of ideas, and with resource groups that are pressed for time, idea generation sometimes feels like a race, especially for you as the facilitator!

You've got resource group participants who are eager to contribute and they can shout out their ideas more quickly than you can write them down. That alone can make you feel pressed to keep up with the flow of ideas being offered. Racing can mean sacrificing some of the detail that will make the idea unique.

The resource group needs your help expressing ideas with enough detail to make them specific and clear. While we want to strive for quantity, the clarity of what is on the list will serve you and the client well when it comes time to make choices.

Try these techniques the next time your idea session feels like a race:

  1. When the idea offered is simply a communication tool like an outdoor event or a television commercial, write down the tool and then ask the group to give some detail about how that particular tool would be used or what the name or handle of the persuasive campaign might be.
  2. Lean on the rules for making a list and remind the group of rule #5: Your ideas should be specific and clear so that all participants can understand them. Specific ideas have a higher likelihood of becoming reality.
  3. Provide paper so participants can capture ideas they may be ready to offer before you've finished scribing an idea on the list.
  4. Take a detour and ask each participant to write down a couple of ideas. Ask each person to choose one of his or her ideas and invite the group to build on it until enough detail emerges to see how it differs from others on the list.

Connect with Coach K for the official rules on "How to Make a List."