Ground for new ideas – market context
Ideas don't come out of nowhere. There are no ideas inside the office building
. And when we ask, say, financial guys or heads of production to take part in a strategic workshop, they often lack crucial information about the customers' experience. Even sales representatives often feel it difficult to offer new ideas because their day-to-day interactions with clients don't imply deep immersion into their pains, problems, ways of working, etc. So, I prefer to get prepared for a workshop some weeks beforehand. I ask all the group members to visit their clients, as many as possible. They should ask many questions, observe, and try to notice small details and nuances.
And then, we collect all the facts, insights, and ideas that the team members collected, cluster them, and sort them – and only then are we ready for the workshop. It is, thus, not a "free discussion" on everything. Instead, we use collected data as a source of inspiration.
And even then, I try not to use the brainstorming technique. To make the most of the event, I prefer to put participants in an unusual situation, and we play games
. Depending on the scenario, they may play for customers, competitors, and complete strangers. I use lateral thinking and some group games to unleash their creativity. If you look for non-standard ideas, use non-standard methods.
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