Give the resource group time to process your detours.

Creative Facilitators know that one of the best ways to ensure the success of an Idea-Generation or Development Session is to be prepared with a variety of detours. To get the most out of each detour, allow the resource group a little thinking time to process your detour suggestion before forcing a particular connection.

Consider the definition of the word.

Detour - a special road to follow when the normal route is blocked.

Imagine you're driving down the road and a familiar route is closed. Wouldn't it take you a moment to process the change in direction? The same is true for your resource group. They need a moment to process your detour and then you can help them explore it further by offering additional suggestions.

Whether you are armed with facts about the essential elements of the client's marketing or loaded up with a stack of novel images or words, your detours will inspire the resource group to remove roadblocks and think about the marketing objective from a fresh point of view.

Here is a repeatable sequence to help you get the most out of your detour techniques.

Question Detours

Offer the initial question and let the resource group decide where to go with it. For example:

  1. What communication tools might we use in our campaign?
  • Add ideas offered from the open suggestion.
  • Suggest a specific communication tool.
  • Add ideas inspired by that specific tool.

Side-List Detours

Using a separate sheet of paper, make a list of items related to the detour. For example:

  1. Help me make a list of what comes to mind when you think about a drummer.
  • Write down 6-8 responses on your side list.
  • Read the side list back to the resource group.
  • Allow participants time to make any new connections.
  • Add the new connections to the idea list.
  • Circle one item on the side list and ask for ideas that come to mind based on the item you circled.

Allowing participants time to process your detours will get them in the habit of thinking freely about the marketing project you're working on. Once they've made their own connection, you can guide them to explore the detour further based on the potential you see.

Contact Creative Resources for more help with detour techniques.