How to generate & organize many ideas in less than 1 hour

Coming up with a lot of ideas during your strategic meetings is one thing, defining an action plan and putting them into practice is another. Ever wondered how much time you’re WASTING by discussing topics irrelevant to your meeting’s goal?

This is the method we use internally to go from brainstorming to having an action plan in just one hour.

1. First things first, every meeting MUST pursue a specific GOAL. Otherwise, you’re wasting your time.

When preparing for meetings, please remind the team again what we’re trying to achieve and how we’re going to get there.
– 10 minutes –

2. What’s next? Give everyone five minutes to express concerns & expectations

Let all your team member express their concerns and expectations for the meeting. The benefits are two folds:
– The team will feel a sense of responsibility towards the final goal.
– The egos in the room will be disarmed when everyone talks straight from the heart.
– 5 minutes/person –

3. Research your COMPETITORS!

You always want to know what’s already out there before putting yourself under the spotlights. Benchmark your competitors and see how they proceed, you’ll know what you don’t like. This frees up the room during the brainstorming session for the other possibilities.
– 10 minutes –

4. Let’s IDEATE!

Time to get your hands dirty! Give sticky notes and markers to all attendants, and time pressure them to generate as many ideas as they possibly can. A small piece of advice: write BIG and short on the sticky.
– 10 minutes –

weekly brainstorming session stickiesweekly brainstorming session ideation

5.1 Slap those stickies on a wall and let everyone PRESENT what they came up with.

Here, having a whiteboard is quite practical. Don’t be afraid to write around the sticky notes.

whiteboard social media strategy

5.2 Have each team member EXPLAIN their ideas, start to BUNDLE and ORGANIZE them.

As a facilitator, you should listen to your co-workers and regroup the stickies that are related together. In the end, you’ll see a number of bundles i.e. the most repeated themes. There you go, now you know what main topics you have to work on and what the tasks for each are.
– 5 minutes/person –

weekly brainstorming session

6. Digitize what you have on the whiteboard.

By digitizing all the sticky notes, you can share it with every participant. This makes it easier to create tickets and have the same overview online. For this step, we like to use Whimsical (last picture). It’s a free and easy to use online software to create sticky boards, mindmaps, and flowcharts. You can collaborate with your team.
– 10 minutes –

whimsical use exemple

And you, how do you generate ideas and draft your action plans? Please let us know in the comments.

About Bonanza Design

We run Design Sprint workshops on a weekly basis for clients ranging from 5 to >1000 employees and work on a variety of challenges, from B2C to B2B to B2B2C. We are using Design Sprint to solve business, product and marketing problems.

We also use variants of the process during our weekly brainstorming sessions. If your company is facing internal problems and you feel that you would benefit from the Design Sprint methodology, let’s talk, we’ll help you out!