How to create ideas collectively

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There’s no such thing as “creative genius”. Everyone can be creative with the right tools and methods. As a matter of fact, we are more creative when we are working together with others.  I have listed six steps to use when you generate ideas together with others.

1. Define a clear goal.

What are you going to ideate around? The goal is your GPS, it's your guide for your final destination. Everything becomes much easier if you know what you are trying to reach. Ask yourselves, what do we want to achieve in the end?

2. Be present

Participation is a vital component of collaborative thinking. Having all participants present and active during an idea generation session will set the standards of your ideas. You will always get the best results when everyone is involved and have ownership of what you are creating.

3. Work analog

We rarely use our computers or phones when we generate ideas. Post-it notes are the perfect tool when you illustrate, write and express your ideas. Using post-its you will give you the flexibility to move and change things around, It will also force everyone to be present and active during your session. 

4. Don’t be a d*ck

Make sure that everyone’s voice is heard. DO NOT shoot down ideas, try to build on them by using the YES AND mentality. If you are killing ideas too early, people in the group will be less open sharing their thoughts and their creative confidence will be compromised.

5. Quantity over Quality

Generate as many ideas as possible. No idea is a bad idea at this stage. Let the most stupid ideas follow through. You should end up having a lot of ideas to pick from when there is time for evaluation. Read more about evaluation tools here

6. Don’t force it

If you get stuck and all you want is to kill your team members. Just stop!
Use another method, change the environment or simply take a break. Forcing things will not make things better and you will waste a lot of time being frustrated. Feel the group and adjust your direction as you go. It’s everyone's responsibility to speak up when things feel forced.

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