So You've Had An Ideation Session... What's Next?

Ideation without execution is mere delusion” – Robin Sharma, author

Your team has just come from a productive ideation session. Jazzed about their new ideas, they walk out with a sense of accomplishment and growth. But while everyone is buzzing with newfound concepts, two lingering questions remain: what happens after an ideation session, and how can you bring these ideas to life?

More often than not, the enthusiastic abstraction found in a typical session can lead to the harsh reality of applying these concepts in a practical and plausible manner. Structure is crucial, and the potential pitfalls of ideation without execution loom on the horizon. However, there are several steps you can take to excel during this process and ultimately bring your concepts from your head to your hands.

Methods vary from business to business, and companies as varied as Mastercard and LG have created custom strategies for ideation. But organization is a mainstay of most action plans, and the following steps can take you to the next level of success through innovation.

Immediately capture ideas
Regrouping is essential to any strategy, and ideation sessions are no different. A day or two prompts fuzziness on details, which can lead to problems down the road and lead to ineffectiveness when trying to innovation. Use a template – pre-made or one of your own creations – to record ideas after a session has taken place. Even if many of the ideas are not integrated into the next step, they remain on file and may come in handy when pursuing other projects.

Group concepts into larger categories
After ideas are recorded, it’s best to determine how they fit into the master plan of product development. Some may focus solely on functionality and mechanics, while others may pay more attention to aesthetics or visual appeal. To meld these ideas into one great product, place them into different categories and prioritize according to what is important for this project, the company, or the market demographic.

Build on bigger ideas and determine what should be presented to stakeholders
It’s comfortable to sit in a room with your closest colleagues and brainstorm ideas, but what about chatting with C-level executives and board members? Not only do these stakeholders represent the highest authority in your company, but they often stand to benefit from the diverse, creative minds of their team. It’s best to put yourself in the shoes of your CEO and look at the big picture: what ideas are most effective beyond the product? What can best serve our clients and simultaneously increase the value of our company? Start prepping and building upon ideas that answer these questions, as they will enhance the value of your session as well as the product development process.
At MAGNET, we love seeing manufacturers achieve their potential throughout the ideation process. Our team leveraged the creative minds at Animal Oralectrics to help them develop a groundbreaking product (known as the Zumby) that prevents oral bacterial infections in dogs. See what President and CEO Paul Ruflin had to say in our success story video!

Want to know how MAGNET consultants can help you build ideas and bolster potential?

Contact Linda Barita at 216.391.7766 or email linda.barita@magnetwork.org. We’d love to speak with you!

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Posted by Liz Fox in Innovation

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