Think a moment about your last brainstorm session. What percentage of participants actually provided ideas and how many people were just mindlessly scanning their phones? Many organizations rely on employee brainstorming sessions to solve challenges or come up with the next big idea, but countless sessions are ineffective. Ideation is a new approach to brainstorming that encourages participation. Selecting the right attendees is one of the keys to successful ideation. So what are the most important factors to consider when selecting participants for an ideation session? Below are some guidelines.
Comfort with Contribution
Many of us have participated in brainstorming sessions where one or two people dominate the conversation while others don’t utter a single word. This actively hurts the group’s ability to produce their best work. Make sure participants are familiar with the topic of the session and give them time to prepare in advance.
In order to identify the right people to participate, it is important to link the mission of the session to the participants’ areas of expertise and goals. When selecting attendees, look for those who have a deep understanding of the challenges in question. They will be better equipped to find successful solutions.
Cognitive and Functional Diversity
Include people with different perspectives to foster an inclusive environment and allow for different ideas to flourish. It can also be helpful to include people who are functionally diverse but have similar or relevant experience from other lines of business or industries to add outside perspectives.
To ensure that the meeting results in actionable progress, invite decision makers and key stakeholders. While it’s not always necessary to make decisions in an ideation session, it can help to have these players fully briefed and involved for when that moment arrives.
In today’s business environment, it might be difficult to assemble a group that meets all of these criteria, but attendees do not necessarily need to physically sit in the same room. As businesses move towards a more global and interconnected way of communicating, tools like Quilla, ideal for collaboration across offices, can help to support productive ideation sessions no matter where the participants are located.
Quilla™ is a large format digital writing device and ecosystem for real-time ideation. Quilla modernizes how people work together to brainstorm, strategize, organize, and develop their creative thinking. All of this is the genesis for corporate strategy and innovation.
For more tips on facilitating successful ideation sessions, download our eBook, Five Ways to Facilitate Successful Ideation Sessions.