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You can find an introduction to Idea Generation Meetings in Chapter 23 of Where the Action Is. These resources will help you plan, run, and troubleshoot the specific Idea Generation Meetings your team needs.

Definition

An Idea Generation Meeting is used when a group needs to quickly create a lot of new ideas.

Questions Answered

  • What are all the ideas we can think of in this situation?

Examples

  • Ad Campaign Brainstorming Session
  • User Story Brainstorming
  • Fundraiser Brainstorming
  • New Product Ideas
  • Party Theme Ideas

Purpose

  • Create a whole bunch of ideas.

Work Outcomes

  • Lots of new ideas that can be used to seed a new effort.
  • Information about what the organization considers possible—the
  • ideas provided reveal the group’s accepted boundaries.

Human Outcomes

  • Excitement about the chance to be a part of something new.
  • A break from the day-to-day routine.
  • New perspectives; broadened thinking.
  • Inspiration.

Lucid Blog Posts

Elise Keith (2016). Whether we’re working to negotiate the details of a new project, finding a way to tackle a challenging problem, or seeking to define our strategic vision, the pattern is the same; someone poses a question, and the group starts brainstorming answers.

Elise Keith (2015). We decided to test out all the online sticky-note, brainstorming, and decision-making tools we could find to figure out just which ones work best for quick collaborative sessions during a meeting.

Glossary of Meeting Terms

Technique

An affinity diagram organizes a large number of ideas into related sets. Groups often create an affinity diagram as the second step in a brainstorming session. After everyone adds their ideas, the team looks at the...
Braindumping refers to brainstorming written down. The term can be used to describe a solo activity, where one person writes down all the ideas they can think of individually, or a group activity where one person...
Brainstorming is a group technique formalized by Alex Osborn in 1939 as a way to generate a lot of ideas quickly in response to a specific problem or question. Traditional brainstorming involves multiple people...
Brainwriting is an idea generation technique where participants write down their ideas about a particular question for a few minutes without talking. Then, each person passes his or her ideas to the next person who...
A criteria matrix is a valuable decision-making tool that is used to assess and rank a list of options based on specific criteria. For example, the simplest criteria matrix will compare the Pros and Cons of each...
A fishbone diagram is a visual technique that teams use to organize their thinking and identify causes for a problem. The diagram starts with a process or problem written at the right center of the board, with a long...
The KJ-Method or KJ Technique, is an idea generating and prioritizing technique named after its inventor, Jiro Kawakita. This technique is one of the most popular brainstorming variations for design, team,...
The Lotus Blossom Technique is a structured brainstorming exercise used to expand on a central idea or problem. Teams place the original problem statement in the center box in a 3x3 matrix, then add related themes or...
Mute mapping is an affinity diagramming approach designed to encourage equal participation and reduce bias. Mute mapping follows brainstorming. When all the ideas have been added, the team works to organize the ideas...
The Nominal Group Technique is a structured process for generating ideas and prioritizing the preferred options. First, the leader asks an open-ended question. Everyone silently writes down replies on individual...
Reverse Brainstorming is a technique that builds on our natural ability to more easily see problems than solutions. Instead of asking a group to brainstorm ideas that would work, the group brainstorms all the ways...
A silent brainstorm is a technique for generating ideas while everyone remains quiet. This allows participants to think without distractions or influence from other members of the group, and helps combat problems...
The simple consensus workshop method includes four steps. A group brainstorms ideas or responses, which are shared one at a time and posted to a shared space. The group clusters the ideas by related themes or...

Meeting Type

A Pre-Mortem is a meeting before a project starts in which a team imagines what the project would look like if it succeeded and if it failed. The team then works backward to create a plan to help prevent potential...