How to Create A Disruptive Ideation Workshop

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Many people believe when it comes to innovation, you’ve either got it or you don’t.  But innovation is a skill that can be learned, practiced and perfected. One area of innovation is ideation.  Generating quality ideas is key to keeping the innovation funnel full.  How do you get started in innovation if your team doesn’t have confidence in their innovation abilities?  One way is to have a disruptive ideation workshop. On today’s show, I talk about how to create a disruptive ideation workshop.  

disruptive ideation

Boot Camp Condensed

I teach my Innovation Boot Camp course two or three times a year.  This is an intense four-day session that goes twelve hours a day.  The objective is building the innovation confidence of the students. One common request from students is for a one-day version for their teams.  So, I reworked the content and created a one-day version called the Disruptive Ideation Workshop.  The workshop teaches a disruptive approach to generate more and better ideas using the FIRE method.  The objectives: learn the skill, apply it, and have a pipeline of ideas for the organization.  Two weeks ago, we tested the workshop. The class consisted of 25 senior leaders from a single organization (with zero background in innovation).  The results exceeded everyone’s expectations. One of the leaders in the class summed it up: “learning disruptive ideation that generated disruptive ideas.”  So, we named the workshop the “Disruptive Ideation Workshop.”

The Disruptive Ideation Workshop in Brief

What does disruptive ideation mean?  Disruptive means causing or tending to cause disruption; innovative or groundbreaking; unconventional, unorthodox, off-center, unusual, unfamiliar, unprecedented; pioneering, trailblazing, revolutionary, radical, advanced, newfangled, state-of-the-art.

The Disruptive Ideation workshop is built around two major objectives:

  1. Teach a disruptive approach to ideation.
    This will radically increase the number and quality of the ideas that a person and team can generate.
  2. Through the process of learning, apply it to a real-world problem facing the organization.
    At the end, students have a ranked set of disruptive ideas their organization can take forward.
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To achieve these objectives, we teach background and skills and how to apply the skills.  

This course has two major sections: Section 1) Foundation and Section 2) Skills and Application/Practice.  Here’s what we cover in each.

Section 1: Foundation

  1. Myths and mysteries of innovation
  2. Innovation skills (self-doubt/negative talk, imagination, seeing with fresh eyes, etc.)
  3. Innovation Anti-bodies (ego, no risk, no change, etc.)
  4. Innovation framework (FIRE)
    • Focus
    • Ideation
    • Ranking
    • Execution

The focus was on Focus, Ideation, and Ranking of the FIRE method.  Special emphasis was placed on Ideation.  

Skills Learned

Section 2 of the Disruptive Ideation Workshop was a walk-through of the elements in FIRE.  Exercises allowed students to apply those elements to a real problem statement.

Skill number one was FOCUS.  FOCUS is about defining the problem.  Having a clear “problem statement” is critical.  Without a well-defined problem statement, everyone jumps to generate ideas to solve something that is not clearly understood.  In boot camp, the team spends half a day crafting their problem statement.

Skill number two is IDEATION.  Walk through the use and power of the question to generate more and better ideas.  Team ideation is built upon the ideas generated individually.

Skill number three is RANKING.  Grouping ideas is the starting point.  Then take the large number of ideas generated and find the top two to three percent of the ideas.  

The last skill taught is EXECUTION.  Take the raw idea from RANKING and put more thought behind it.  

We also taught “Adapt and Adopt.”  Take the experiences in Section 2 and adapt the skills making adoption easier for their organization.  

Lessons from the Disruptive Ideation Workshop

What are the lessons learned in conducting the Disruptive Ideation Workshop?

  1. One-day is a unit of time that people can more easily step away from the day job.
  2. The problem statement is critical.  Spend time to get it right!
  3. Limit the workshop to a reasonable number of students (20 max).
  4. Establish clear next steps.
  5. Plug students into a community.  Keep the learning and excitement alive after the course ends.

If you are interested in finding out more about the workshop, send an email to us.

More on the Disruptive Ideation Workshop

RELATED:   Four Steps to Better Brainstorm Problem Statements

To hear about creating a disruptive ideation workshop, listen to this week's show: How to Create A Disruptive Ideation Workshop.

Five Minutes to New Ideas

Are creativity and innovation only for the young? Silicon Valley has clearly bought into this premise. The truth of the matter is creativity and Innovation know no limit based on age. You can pick up creativity at any age. Do you or your organization hold a bias as to who can or cannot be creative? Listen to this week’s Five Minutes to New Ideasfor more on how age really doesn’t matter in the innovation game.
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