Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Strategic product planning - ideation

Many Fortune 500 companies have formal ideation programs that include a product planning development strategy and a systematic method of idea development that both inspires employees and creates product ideas that grow their business annually. Does your company? Do you really need one?

Bringing together a diverse motivated group will suffice.

Sitting around a table with someone at the white board holding a pen and 'brainstorming' doesn't really work that well either you've probably noticed.

Traditional brainstorming doesn’t work if it hasn’t been prepared for appropriately. Elements for a successful session are: consumer feedback, market data, customer input, technology innovation, and the experience of your staff on all levels as well as in all areas of the company. The idea is to bring to the table and present in such a way to draw out the creativity in your staff -as this is critical to the value of the ideas resulting.

Enticing participation from this crowd is a whole other piece. In our daily work our brains are moving a mile a minute. For the creative space to open up, one needs to be able to set aside the appointments, anxiety, ill feelings towards a colleague perhaps, stress, and to-do lists just for a short time. For the creative space in all of us to speak, it must be coaxed much like our social selves.

Having the right inputs, leading your group through exercises that will calm, relax, yet excite, and then the right mo-jo to collect the consequential outpouring of ideas will get your 2009 and 2016 plans on the page.

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