When you think of brainstorming and creating ideas, working in groups goes hand in hand, right?
Well, not always.
Brainstorming, innovation sprints and innovation breakouts are all great ways of ideating and fostering an innovation culture, but are they the most effective ways for your organisation to harness the collective brain power of each individual? Or is your approach to innovating within a group setting blocking innovation and actually contradicting what you’re setting out to achieve?
In this post I highlight the trends I’ve observed within organisations when it comes to innovating in a group setting and the barriers that can sometimes arise. I also offer some advice on how you can overcome the issues that can often arise when innovating in groups (if you read on for the gooey, chocolatey centre, that is).
First, a question:
Who is more likely to come up with a higher number of quality ideas?
- A group of individuals, discussing ideas in a brainstorming type environment?
- Individuals ideating in solitude?
It’s 1 right?
According to Prof. Dr. Daan Stam from the University of Rotterdam, research suggests that idea creation is better performed at an individual level.
I know this contradicts many of our assumptions, but bear with me.
There’s a psychological element to innovating, and different subliminal techniques and cues that go unnoticed may hinder the output of group sessions.
Nominal group technique (NGT)
NGT encourages group brainstorming in a structured way, collecting ideas from individuals prior to brainstorming sessions so that your sessions can be utilised to maximum effect.
At Idea Drop, we’ve identified what we think is a very effective way of running NGT sessions:
- Identify and assemble team members
- Set a challenge/goal
- Allow a silent brainstorming session
- Review/rate ideas in the team
- Present and collaborate on ideas in group brainstorming session
- Prioritise and implement ideas
Using an innovation management tool like Idea Drop is a great way of utilising NGT and best practices when it comes to group innovation.
You can use Idea Drop to set an idea challenge and then encourage individuals to ideate at their own pace, in their own environment. Capturing ideas on Idea Drop at the silent brainstorming stage can be invaluable in helping organisations to overcome the production blocking barrier.
Idea Drop’s cloaking function enables individuals to overcome evaluation apprehension when ideating, so it’s a great way to encourage individuals to post ideas. And their confidence receives a huge boost when their colleagues start to rate and “favourite” their ideas!
Once all the ideas have been collected, individuals are encouraged to rate and comment on the ideas before moving into the group collaboration and brainstorming phase.
Idea Drop can assist with idea prioritisation and implementation via Pipeline, our idea workflow tool, which enables organisations to monitor the output of ideas and to ensure a clear action plan and line of communication throughout the ideas lifecycle.
Ready to see Idea Drop in action?
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