The Best Handful of Tips 73 –
Collecting New Ideas
Aim to go where you have never been before to collect ideas to stimulate productivity or to help solve problems.
The more competitive you can make the exercises the bigger the list of new ideas you can collect for consideration and evaluation.
Innovation thrives on encouragement and dies with criticism.
Five of the best tips for gathering ideas
Select an enthusiastic leader and an innovative team
The team must be told the rules and the techniques to be used and a practice run or two held at the start before moving on to the serious business.
Start with some common object such as a bucket, a brick or a belt. They must be shown that wild ideas are being encouraged and criticism discouraged.
Select a suitable environment
The environment and the time of the day the exercise is held are important. Participants must be fresh and mentally active.
There must be no cell phones, no interruptions and no distractions.
Appoint a recorder
The recorders role is to encourage and write up the ideas as they start to flow. They need to be written up for all to see on a large paper pad, a white board or on to a large screen.
Don’t allow interruptions or criticisms or, “We tried that before and it didn’t work”.
Work under pressure for limited times. If groups are slow to respond, take a break.
Pair people off to go for a walk to discuss the topic before serving them a cup of coffee and regrouping.
Small competitive groups can be most effective.
Classify and evaluate ideas
Classify ideas into ‘possible’, ‘perhaps’, and ‘impossible’.
Encourage each person to pick the ‘best idea’ and to compete for the ‘best possible solution’ to the problem to be solved.
Select the best five good ideas and compare and discuss suggestions and how plans could be implemented, at what cost.
Generating ideas can be a lot of fun and stimulate many people. Especially if good ideas turn up. If a new idea can be implemented it usually has the support of the participants because they were involved in the exercise.
“Innovation is the fuel of corporate survival.”
Source: “Training Secrets. Helping adults learn”. Moss Associates Ltd. “Training Secrets. A trainer’s handbook packed with proven methods and helpful hints”, Cengage Learning Asia. Also available as an e-book from Amazon.com.