I’ve been a little tardy in updating this blog but it is a new year and with that comes a renewed sense of purpose, strength and resolve. So I’ll be trying to update this blog more often. Also there are plans to get guest writers to contribute to the whatif blog. If you are interested to share your thoughts, drop me a note!
My first post of the year will be about brainstorming and innovation. In The Marketing Society Forum, 4 individuals were asked to comment on whether brainstorming is still an effective way to innovate. The comments ran the gamut from one individual saying that the right facilitator is the most important thing in pulling off a great brainstorming session, to someone who said that brainstorming is dead and Six Sigma is the way to go in this day and age. Another individual also commented that brainstorming should be incorporated into company culture and be a continued process rather than isolated sessions. To read the full article click Download Dave_Allan_Marketing_Sept_07.pdf
So what are my thoughts on this topic? Well, firstly I think the question posed is just too wide and should be narrowed down to the following - “Is brainstorming still an effective way to generate ideas?” I say this because the word ‘innovate’ encompasses too many different aspects and this revised question gives the topic a stronger focus. Going back to my question - is brainstorming still an effective way to generate ideas in this day and age? In my opinion it is an emphatic yes! However, brainstorming is not the only effective ideation tool out there. What is important is to pick the correct ideation tool for a given situation.
Besides the actual ideation session it is also important to look at the front end of it. Namely, how do we get inspiration for good ideas? In my opinion, one extremely good way is to do observation. How about the tail end of brainstorming? What do you do once you have narrowed down the hundreds of ideas to a couple of ideas? The next step should be prototyping these ideas. Make these ideas tangible in a quick and cheap manner. By doing so you can test your ideas out and improve on them. What I have described above is the essence of design thinking.