innovation brainstorming workshops

Last month, I had four innovation workshops with brainstorming sessions, and what I learned is that in each group I can expect allways different situation. I had groups with 7-17 participants, they were from the same technical field and have the same techical knowledge. What was common in all 4 workshops is that the boss is always the leader with most ideas(that’s good), other innovative people from past are followers, but some of participants haven’t contribute at all. I reach some of them, with showing the benefits of ideas to indivudual(incentives+glory). Important is to notify about successful ideas from their department from near past.
The most successful group was the one that wanted to reach the big number of ideas, with no time-limit to their workshop. And they really did it! First the target was to have at least 14 ideas(from 7 participants) what was pushed from their boss, but they didn’t stop until they reach 24 ideas. And they had the high quality of their ideas!
Concusion is that the commitment of the management + successful examples from the past + showing incentives, can lead to generation of big number of ideas. It’s also essential to be active in such workshops and don’t let the group to be silent. Innovation process should be explained before brainstorming, so that participants know in which program they can submit their idea.
Most important is to not let them forget about their ideas after workshop with at least sending reminder mails.

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