Netflix changed the way we stream movies. Amazon transformed how we shop. And Facebook revolutionized how people around the world connect with each other.
What do they all have in common? Each one of them successfully challenged and shook up the status quo. They all innovated.
And so should you.
Innovation In The New Normal
Many companies find it more challenging to grow their businesses now that we’re in the middle of a pandemic. Apart from supply chain issues and worldwide restrictions, there’s also very limited face-to-face interaction between team members. Not everyone is comfortable with virtual brainstorming, after all.
Hence, organisations are trying to bring their employees back to the traditional workplace. However, a survey shows that 40 to 55 percent of remote workers would rather quit their jobs than return to the office.
So, how can you innovate remotely? Here are six steps to get you started.
Step 1: Initial Idea Generation
Virtual brainstorming works best if you create a customised process flow for it. For example, whenever team members generate creative ideas, have them include it in an online collaboration tool.
Innovative ideas usually start off either crazy or rough so it might be embarrassing at first. If you have team members who are hesitant to share their ideas, allow them to submit anonymously. Doing so will enable the team to explore different angles without fear of judgment or criticism.
Step 2: Idea Categorisation
Many ideas can be similar or repetitive. But instead of disregarding them completely, you can also group them together. Afterwards, categorise all the ideas so it’s easier to backtrack and share them with everyone on the team.
Often, the best idea is a product of combined thoughts. Hence, don’t fret when most of the suggestions are similar in nature. That could very well mean that your team is on to something.
Step 3: Idea Evaluation
Once you have all the suggested ideas down, it’s time to vote. Ask your team members to choose one (or two) that resonate/s with them the most. To avoid any awkwardness, enable your team to vote anonymously too.
Evaluating ideas can be time-consuming, but it’s a crucial step in the process. Arriving at a consensus is especially important when you’re doing virtual brainstorming.
Step 4: Idea Revision
Let’s say about three ideas received the highest number of votes. What’s next? It’s time to revise and refine the concepts, either by re-evaluating them or even generating something completely new.
In other words, it’s time for another idea-sharing session. Only this time, you’ve narrowed down the options for more streamlined decision-making.
Step 5: Revised Ideas Cleanup
Once the ideas have been discussed and revised, it’s time to do a cleanup. This is where you identify the pros and cons of each concept.
For example, if your team members suggested a new marketing campaign, envision how your target audience would respond to it. If you’re planning to launch a new and innovative product, how will you market its new features to make it stand out?
Finally, once you’ve answered these questions, it’s time for an evaluation.
Step 6: Final Evaluation
The first five steps can take weeks, months, or even years. And then, there’s the evaluation stage.
Here, you open the floor for team members to comment on the revised ideas for the last time before you go public. This is very crucial since all the final changes will happen here. More than ever, you should make sure that everyone’s voice is heard – and to be open to any last-minute revisions.
Unsure about how to start virtual brainstorming? Fortunately, you’re in the right place.
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