Archive for July, 2011

Ideation Always Sparks Discussion

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 13, 2011 by innovativemediapr

This morning I ran an Ideation Lab at my weekly Letip of Marlboro meeting in New Jersey. LeTip is a professional organization of women and men dedicated to the highest standards of competence and service. Its primary purpose is to give and receive qualified business tips or leads.

When I was General Manager of Catalyst Public Relations, I used to conduct these for the staff on a weekly basis. We used these to stimulate creative thinking among staff members and to get everyone to think out of the box in regards to how they handled existing client programs and new business pitches.

For the LeTip meeting this morning, the focus was on getting everyone to encourage everyone to utilize the different nuances of each business owner’s personality and experience to grow our group. At the same time, in reviewing some Ideation concepts with the group, I stressed the need for each one of us to begin looking at things in a different way, which could spark new ideas and allow us to offer a new approach to recruiting new members.

I used an example (cited below in italics) from the Ideative Process website which cited the film, Apollo 13 as an example of the Ideative process in action.

One of my favorite illustrations of the Ideative process is a scene in the movie Apollo 13. Note that this scene accurately represents a real event. The astronauts were in space and only had only a few hours of breathable air remaining. The ground crew needed to develop a method to filter the spacecraft’s air and they needed to do it FAST. A group of engineers gathered in a room and their leader emptied a box of what seemed to be random items onto the table. These items were in fact duplicates of everything the astronauts had on board the spacecraft, from tools to supplies to toiletries. The lead engineer then told the group that this is what they had available to make the filter. The engineers proceeded to Assemble the various items into several configurations until they ultimately crafted the filter that kept the astronauts alive. This scene illustrates the concept behind The Ideative Process; the engineers took objects that had a variety of different purposes and Assembled those items into a solution. The tools, supplies, and toiletries were similar to the blocks of information in The Ideative Process. The process the engineers used is easily duplicated; collect as much information as possible into one place, then pick and chose among the available items to Assemble your Ideas. Then test different combinations until you have a solution. Could your people perform the way those NASA engineers performed? Yes!

In discussing various ways we could work together to grow the group, several members spoke up about their frustrations in their approach thus far and their willingness to try new ways. A dialogue was fostered and everyone became engaged in the discussion. That was my hope for the meeting and should always be the result from the Ideation process.

Ideation is not meant to be the end all of ideas. It’s designed to get individuals and groups to alter their approach and look at new ways to stimulate and develop a new approach for creative thinking. Once you can get individuals engaged and willing to look at things in a different light, the better chance you have of creating a new way of thinking and sparking new ideas.

If you’re hitting the wall with an existing client program, new business presentation or just need to motivate your staff, creating an Ideation process at your company could be the magic that you need.

Hopefully, everyone involved with this morning’s discussion will be motivated to enter fully into the Ideation process. If so, we’ll certainly have a better chance at growing our group.

Tom Cosentino