IDEA GENERATION WORKSHOPS
Unleash your creativity
Idea generation workshops
Does your company feel it would be good to have some refreshing ideas on a specific customer (segment) problem or new ideas serving existing or new customers better? Or do you feel it would be good to bring some employees together as sharing can be improved within your organization? Why not run an idea generation workshop. We can help your company with generating new ideas to solve customer problems or in other words: Bridge marketing and innovation at the very beginning of an innovation process.
Bringing employees together in an idea generation workshop is the perfect way to create synergies within your organization and boost the creativity within your organization to achieve results for your organization. We have heard from many companies that it’s not always easy to facilitate such a workshop themselves or that there is always a learning opportunity in mastering new idea generation techniques. In a world where lifelong learning is gaining in importance, let’s not underestimate the impact such a learning experience can have on your company’s employees' motivation.
During our idea generation workshops, employees are provided with practical tools focused on the facilitation of idea generation. These tools are applicable in their daily jobs. Personas and idea napkins are examples of tools that are frequently used during our idea generation workshops.
A persona helps innovation teams describe potential target customers at a “human” level. It pushes employees to “step in the shoes” of their customers and to better understand their needs and behavior. Hence, an increasing number of our clients use them to stimulate a customer-centric approach to ideation and innovation.
In order to design effective personas, you need to start by observing or talking with customers (what we call “field observations”). For instance, you can start by talking with a few customers or colleagues, or personal contacts who know customers well (e.g., salespeople; front-line employees; etc).
Next, you need to translate such “field observations” into organized customer stories. For example, you can organize the insights gathered from your talks in interview transcripts and systematically capture your insights and observations into a list of “customer insights”. Armed with such “customer insights”, you are then ready to build your “persona”, simply by recording all meaningful insights about the customer being described in the eight “boxes” of the persona template.
It is very important to understand and empathize with your potential customers. Personas force you to drill down at a personal level and thereby help you achieve your goals.
Our blog post provides you with in-depth information and examples of personas: https://www.mti2.eu/post/empathizing-with-your-customer-in-a-piece-of-paper-how-to-make-effective-personas.
An idea napkin is the written equivalent of the elevator pitch. An increasing number of our clients are using them as an intermediate step in ideation. It is very important to bring your ideas to life and ensure they are captured in a systematic and easy to share and compare format. They bring ideas to life for the first time and can be used for initial idea screening. But what are idea napkins? And how do you develop them?
An idea napkin is a very simple tool that forces you to synthesize the main value drivers of your solution by describing it in simple terms across the following five steps:
1. Give the idea a name: Finding a title for your idea forces you as an ideator to clarify, in very simple terms, the key benefits of the idea. It also stimulates ownership and ease of sharing.
2. Describe the idea in one sentence: In just one sentence you clarify the general idea proposed.
3. Explain what issues the idea solves: To give further details, it is important to clarify which customer needs or issues are solved by the proposed idea. This step requires you to synthesize and clarify who the target customer or user is, and what needs of such user the idea being described addresses.
4. Clarify how the user profits from the idea: The next step is to explain how the idea tackles the needs and how it benefits the customer or user.
5. Sketch how the idea solves the issue: The last step is for you to visually sketch how their idea solves a customer problem in three steps, making the idea come to life. This step is important to stimulate ideates to tell a story from the perspective of the target customer – what she goes through and what the proposed solution works and looks like. Areas that we typically focus on in this prototyping/sketching include clarifying the user experience and the solution or user interface. The sketches/drawings can be very simple (see the figure below as an example).
To see how idea napkins are used by real-life examples, you can read our blog post: https://www.mti2.eu/post/innovation-ideas-on-a-napkin-how-to-make-it-work.
How will our idea generation workshop help your organization?
Every employee will have at least 2 new ideas focused on a (potential) customer’s problem
Your employees will be stretched to think beyond their daily job typically leading to increased motivation
Your employees will share insights and ideas with one another leading to potential further collaboration & sharing
Your management will get an easy-to-compare ideas format enabling decisions
Describe your image
Describe your image
Describe your image
Describe your image
What can I expect when I run an idea generation workshop with MTI²?
We will start by sitting together with you and listening to your objectives. Based on what we hear, we will show you examples of what we think could work within your organization. We will then prepare by making an idea generation workshop that fits your objectives by selecting the right idea generation tools, the right examples, and the right collaboration formats. We will build on your feedback prior to running the workshop to ensure a clear and engaging briefing of participating employees.
On your side, you will invite approximately 15-25 (easily adaptable to your needs) participants to our 1-day idea generation workshop. The main components of such a day are as follows (standard agenda shown with agenda always thoroughly discussed with you):
Welcome and getting started
Tools & templates with practical examples
Time for action: Getting started with idea generation
Time to help each other: Feedback rounds (“Mr/Mrs. Upside/Downside”)
Fine-tune your idea
Sharing your ideas