Day One Begins with Innovation Tips

I hurried over to the Disneyland hotel shortly after my arrival into Anaheim today. I knew I would be a bit late to the afternoon workshops but I really wanted to check them out.

As I entered, I could feel the energy in the room. The afternoon speaker, Holly O’Neill, was “Talking Business” about innovation and ideation techniques. She was discussing with participants on how to get the right people in the room. She suggested that it’s more important to get a creative administrative assistant in an ideation session than the ‘less than creative’ vice president.” One participant followed up to ask, “How do you know who is creative?” (which I found to be a great question) She quickly answered that if “you can give a quick test to get a read on creativity, it really helps. For example, as a pre-work exercise, have everyone list 10 things you can do with a brown paper bag? From that, you can gather a quick assessment on creativity level.

Some of her other tips included:

1) Bring in an expert. For example, if the category is regarding a new food concept, bring in a nutritionist or hire a professional ideator.

2) Have attendees do a homework assignment. For example, send everyone to the health food store and have them bring something unique and interesting into the session. Then, create an innovation table with everyone’s finds. This stimulates new thought from the onset of the session.

3) Make the room fun with toys, food and drinks as well as music.

4) Create a room set-up that includes using comfy seating, and extra space for exercises.

This 3-hour workshop managed to keep everyone on their toes with many ideation techniques, and we were all put on the spot with a starter activity called “Merry Names-Go-Round.”

April Bell

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