PR is known as a creative industry; ensuring that every event, press releases and new website catches people’s attention requires a constant flow of ideas. But pretty much everyone has been to a meeting for ideas generation, whether it’s for the future of your technology, the design of your website or, as I did on a daily basis as a scientist, ‘how can we possibly make this experiment work’.
But how many of you have had the same meeting again and again? One person dominates the conversation, younger members of staff are too shy to speak up and the same ideas are thrown around endlessly? Although it is very valuable to share ideas with your colleagues and talk them through, sometimes there are better ways to get started.
In our technique eight of us sat around a table, some of whom had never been involved with the particular project we were generating ideas for. We were all given a piece of paper and a minute to write an idea on it. When the minute was up we passed the paper round to our right and did the same again, and again, and again…
Three minutes in I began to think it was impossible – my ideas were running dry already. But I decided to take each minute as it came, and by the end of minute eight each piece of paper had an idea from each person. I was amazed by the way ideas kept coming to me and we ended up 64 ideas, or seeds of ideas.
The time pressure and the fact we were writing something down meant we felt free to put quirkier ideas than we may have voiced in a meeting. A short and intensive session, where everyone is on a level pegging, made it easy to block out everything else and let the ideas flow in.
I’d love to hear about any other techniques you’ve tried and if you have any luck with this one!