15 Mar 2017 |
Research article |
Entrepreneurship & Management
A Creativity Guide for Your Ideation Sessions
We have put together a creativity guide for your ideation sessions. It can be tailored to the amount of time you have available (between 5 minutes to 48 hours). What is the purpose of this guide? Our research has shown that, to our knowledge, there is no other creative process designed for short ideation sessions. This Creativity Guide fills the void and is one component of a three-part creative process.
Why a Creativity Guide?
This Creativity Guide was designed to help businesses, professionals, professors, students, essentially anyone, with short ideation sessions lasting 5 minutes to 48 hours. It can help you make the most of your ideation sessions and enable you to come up with great ideas, potentially leading to an innovative solution (a marketable product or service). Or it might just help you create in situations of emergency, improvisation or during short planned ideation sessions.
The ideas presented during these sessions are useful for resolving problems, developing products and services, or creating just for fun. They can be applied in various fields (technology, arts and culture, medical, legal, financial, business, etc.). This easy‑to‑use guide was designed for teamwork, but it can also be useful for individuals working on their own. It is also designed for co-creation and co-design sessions with or without a facilitator.
Part 1: Creativity Guide
This guide is one component of a three-part creative process for short ideation sessions. The three parts are:
- Creativity Guide: designed as an introduction to the other components of the creative process
- Team Preparation: describes how to prepare yourself or your group prior to holding a short ideation session
- Step-by-Step Guide: includes all the chronological steps you must go through, including how to do them, hour by hour. It gives you access to a creative toolbox that takes you through the stages of the step-by-step guide.
This three-part creative process for short ideation sessions was tested and developed after thirteen 24-hour ideation sessions that took place during the 24 Hours of Innovation competition held at ÉTS in Montreal (2010 to 2014) and at ESTIA in France (2007 to 2014).
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Part 2: Team Preparation
The value of bringing together the right people for your team and adequately preparing them becomes obvious during short ideation sessions. For instance, if you conduct an eight-hour ideation session alone, you will be able to complete eight hours of ideation. However, if a team of eight conducts and eight-hour ideation session, they will be able to complete 8 x 8 hours = 64 hours of ideation. If the team is efficient and coordinated, its creative time will be multiplied by eight.
A study was carried out on the ideation work conducted by the winning teams of the 24 Hours of Innovation competitions, from 2007 to 2010. It found that the winning teams had an average of eight participants. People have the option of working alone, but doing so makes it much harder to come up with a result comparable to that of a team of eight during short ideation sessions.
Another important aspect of teamwork: ideas (including the best ones) are born from a clash of ideas. You have to be able to compare your ideas with the sometimes disconcerting ideas of your peers, while maintaining mutual respect and accepting that your ideas may not be in line with one another.
In order for a team with several participants to be effective, coordinated and respectful of others who think differently, you have to prepare BEFORE the ideation session. Jumping into an ideation session unprepared is a little like entering a car race without knowing if your driver is the best in the group with an unprepared race car—particularly if you are in a competition, such as the 24 Hours of Innovation. You can still compete, but it will be unnecessarily stressful and your chances of winning will not be very good!
Team Preparation Essentials
We will soon present an article on this subject.
Why a Step-by-Step Guide?
The Step-by-Step Guide is designed to help you plan your work as an individual or as a team. It indicates the approximate amount of time that should be allotted for the different steps in the process. We have developed step-by-step guides for ideation sessions totalling 5 , 15 , or 30 minutes, and 1 , 2 , 4 , 6 , 8 , 16 , 24, or 48 hours. They should help you make the most of the time you have available. The steps and the allotted time for each step are adjusted based on the total length of the ideation session.
The Step-by-Step Guide below is tailored to a 24-hour ideation session. As such, it is applicable specifically to the 24 Hours of Innovation competition.
The Step-by-Step Guide also contains a Creative Toolbox with:
- Quick creativity jump-starters that each require less than 5 minutes to learn
- A green innovation approach allowing you to create in an environmentally responsible manner
- A guide in using Big Data during the ideation process
- An approach to managing the risks presented by your ideas
- A simple feasibility analysis method
- A method for creating a basic business plan
- Tools for making 2D and 3D prototypes
- A method for visualizing your ideas so that you can better understand them and share them
- Tools for presenting your final idea in a presentation or video
The items in the Creative Toolbox are recommended at various stages in the Step-by-Step Guide. For more detailed explanations on the steps and the toolbox, please refer to the following documents: STEPS, TOOLBOX.
Part 3: Step-by-Step Guide
The chronological guide consists of ten steps. We recommend that you perform the first three in a linear way (one after the other, either to prepare your team before the ideation session, choose the challenge, or define the problem). Thereafter, you are free to perform the steps in this guide in a linear way or not. Remember, the creative process is iterative!
|Prior to starting||Prepare the team|
|Select a challenge||Base your choice on:|
Define the problem
|Green Innovation||Green innovation method|
Find a solution
THAT YOU DO THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES IN SMALL GROUPS
|Prepare your presentation|
|Submit your presentation|
|Evaluation and presentation of local prizes|
|Evaluation and presentation of international prizes|
Please note that the items in the toolbox will become clickable (links will be added) as articles are published on the various topics.