4 Gets and 1 Gain from Ideation

Last week, my team and I set aside time to explore our current content development efforts and think earnestly about you, the leaders we strive to develop.

You are top of mind for us daily, but this was a deliberate process. We went to Vanderbilt University’s Wond’ry, the university’s space for creativity and innovation. We then put to use one dry erase board, two hours, and three brilliant minds from outside of our team (David Owens, Deanna Meador, and Yesi Sevilla).

  • The dry erase board gave us space to think.
  • The two-hour block gave us time to think.
  • The three brilliant minds gave us a challenge to think.

Many teams only brainstorm when there is a problem to fix. They only ideate when there is a challenge to overcome. We were ideating for ideation’s sake, knowing that something good would come from setting aside space, time, and effort to think.

Our efforts that day yielded four Gets and one Gain. I bet if you invested in an ideation session with your team, you too would gain similar outcomes.

Our Four Gets

  1. Get out of your workspace: We stepped away from our everyday work and into a different environment that encouraged exploration.
  2. Get out of your head: We moved away from the day-to-day thinking about our existing solutions and products. Instead of thinking about what we already offer, we had a chance to think about what we don’t currently offer but you need.
  3. Get out of your way: We challenged ourselves to think from the perspective of others.
  4. Get outside input: We took the time to field many questions and receive fresh ideas.

Our One Gain

  1. Gain a fresh perspective on a critical issue: How we can better meet the needs of the leaders we are working to serve today and into the future.

We hope you can help your team experience a similar ideation session. It can be the best use of your time when done well. Sadly, when it’s done poorly, it will produce little value, but it will also feed cynicism and disengagement. It’s the classic high-risk, high reward scenario.

We gained a new perspective on those we serve and generated many ideas about how we can do it better. This week’s tool and video are designed to help you prepare for an ideation session. It will enable you to leverage the experience that we had so that your next brainstorming or idea session can be better than ever before.

We want to help you reduce the risk and deliver on the reward. With this in mind, the Ideation Preparation Checklist contains 18 questions for you to consider as you prepare for your ideation session. Setting the session up for success is the best first move you can make, and we want to help you do just that. Watch the video, answer the question, and prepare yourself for some significant Gets and Gains.


Photo by FORTYTWO on Unsplash