An Alternative to Traditional Ideation Sessions
Breakthrough innovation relies on developing discerning insights into complex problems. This challenge demands that those involved generate and utilize their individual perceptions, share them effectively, and shape them into ideas for new-to-world solutions. To this end, we pioneered an approach to ideation designed to maximize the depth of engagement and the quality of contributions from ideation participants.
Our Quartet method of ideation draws from the principles of Jungian psychology as expressed in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®). Our methodology derives from a deep understanding of four archetypes and the way each contributes to the ideation process: the Implementers, the Storytellers, the Creatives, and the Problem Solvers.
Building the Team
We use our proprietary TeamBuilder tool to type each participant. The assessment can be completed online in less than 10 minutes. Each participant privately receives an archetype classification and a profile identifying his or her primary strengths and preferences. This opportunity for self-discovery is an effective way to encourage the most productive behaviors and thought processes for ideation.
A key shortcoming of traditional ideation is that participants arrive lacking sufficient context and knowledge to contribute optimally. To remedy this, we engage participants in advance of the session, “priming the pump” by sharing “starter ideas” that may have emerged from our prior research. When such information and objectives are shared in advance, participants’ brains will naturally begin to process them, and participants arrive ready to engage.
Maximizing Processing & Engagement
Having a variety of activities is important in ideation to activate both divergent and convergent thinking processes in the ideal sequence. Our brains are most activated when we share or teach others what we know. As such, most listening and writing activities are accompanied by both paired sharing activities and group processing.
Achieving a Successful Outcome
Our Quartet® framework can result in many ideas (50-100 is common) and a handful of solid preliminary concepts (10-25). Our process also addresses this challenge of ideation that can “go into left field:” by initially defining a set of insights and opportunity areas as the basis for the session; by consistently balancing the divergent, creative nature of the process with a convergent, analytical element; and by making sure the session concludes by honing preliminary ideas and groups of possibilities into firmer concepts.