Ideation workshops are a great way to come up with new product ideas, but if the ground rules aren't set beforehand, they can quickly turn into a mess
Without some ground rules in place, people will just start talking and no real progress will be made. And if someone has a good idea, it might get stolen by another person in the room.
Follow these ground rules for your next ideation workshop and you'll be able to generate lots of great ideas without all the chaos.
Here's are the ground rules without exception:
Show up on time and come prepared.
Be prompt in arriving at the meeting and in returning from breaks. Be prepared to contribute to achieving the meeting goals. Come to the meeting with a positive attitude.
Stay mentally and physically present.
Be present, and don’t attend to non-meeting business. Listen attentively to others and don’t interrupt or have side conversations. Treat all meeting participants with the same respect you would want from them.
Contribute to meeting goals.
Participate 100% by sharing ideas, asking questions, and contributing to discussions. Share your unique perspectives and experience, and speak honestly. If you state a problem or disagree with a proposal, try to offer a solution.
Let everyone participate.
Share time so that all can participate. Be patient when listening to others speak and do not interrupt them. Respect each other’s thinking and value everyone’s contributions.
Listen with an open mind.
Value the learning from different inputs, and listen to get smarter. Stay open to new ways of doing things, and listen for the future to emerge. You can respect another person’s point of view without agreeing with them.
Think before speaking.
Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Avoid using idioms, three-letter acronyms, and phrases that can be misunderstood. It’s OK to disagree, respectfully and openly, and without being disagreeable.
Stay on point and on time.
Respect the groups’ time and keep comments brief and to the point. When a topic has been discussed fully, do not bring it back up. Do not waste everyone’s time by repeating what others have said.
Attack the problem, not the person.
Respectfully challenge the idea, not the person. Blame or judgment will get you further from a solution, not closer. Honest and constructive discussions are necessary to get the best results.
Close decisions and follow up.
Make sure decisions are supported by the group, otherwise they won’t be acted on. Note pending issues and schedule follow up meetings as needed. Identify actions based on decisions made, and follow up actions assigned to you.
Record outcomes and share.
Record issues discussed, decisions made, and tasks assigned. Share meeting reports with meeting participants. Share meeting outcomes with other stakeholders that should be kept in the loop.