Running a good "vision session", "innovation session", " session"...?

7 Nov 2005 - 11:37am
1341 reads
Chad Jennings

Hi David,

A few quick thoughts. I imagine one component of your <buzzword>
session will be a series of brainstorms.
In my experience the most successful sessions tend to:
• Try not to solve or reinvent every aspect of the site or software
in one long session. Instead plan a few shorter sessions (although
never easy to schedule) over the course or a week
• Begin with a few defined topic groups or problem statements based
on customer needs (or unmet needs). More like "How can we better
connect our customers and help them build a shared knowledge
resource" versus "How can we reinvent/ rethink community on the site"
• Break the session up into several 10-15 minute rapid brainstorms
sessions per topic/ problem statement. You'll always end up jumping
around to different topics, quickly grab the idea, but try to steer
people back to the current problem statement. Then, come back and
spend more time on topics after taking a pass across all topics.
• Number each idea and set a goal of 30 (?) ideas per problem statement
• Near the session close hold a quick prioritization exercise. You
don't necessarily have to prioritize ideas at this point, but i've
found it is helpful to ask people to choose the two-three ideas under
each topic that really resonate with them. We've done this in the
past having people add a "sticker dot" next to the ideas, then if
time permits having each person pick one or two to talk about why the
idea resonated with them


On Nov 6, 2005, at 8:44 PM, David Hatch wrote:
I want to run an innovation session focused on coming up with ideas for
a next gen web site (if you know where I work you probably know the site
I'm thinking of). I've done these before, but I haven't in a while so I
need a refresher. I don't want to bog the session down with an
excessively controlled agenda, but I do want to have an underlying
structure to make sure we make good use of the time. Anyone here run a
successful session like this lately? Any pointers to good resources.

Chad Jennings
Director of Product Design
Blurb, Inc

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