Ideation and Validation
All you need to do now is start ideating! Here are some exercises and approaches that you might want to try to help you to come up with creative ideas, especially if you are feeling stuck or not creative.
Strategy: Yes! and… approach
You can try this when having a group discussion or brainstorm. When someone makes a suggestion, the next person says ‘Yes, and’ before making their suggestion.
Why is this useful?
- This is a simple approach borrowed from improvised theatre that aims to improve collaboration between team members and build on people’s ideas, rather than shutting them down
- Good listening + communication = BETTER IDEAS
Scenario: The AASYP Team is currently planning a virtual end of year party for all volunteers. The organising team wants to brainstorm ideas.
Person 1: I think we should plan some virtual games for everyone to play.
Person 2: Yes! And we should also make sure that we choose a time that most volunteers can attend.
Person 3: Yes! And we should send out calendar invitations so that no one forgets the party is happening.
Person 1: Yes! And maybe we can make a special Spotify playlist for the party
Activity: Ideas Burst
This can be done as a team or individually. Simply set a timer for 5 minutes and try to come up with as many ideas as possible before the timer runs out. Remember, you are aiming for quantity not quality!
Why is this useful?
- This activity aims to get you thinking about lots of ideas without judgement
- Your first ideas are often not the best ideas, so this activity encourages you to consider as many ideas as possible before you begin to assess their quality
- This is a great way to make sure that you aren’t attached to one particular idea from the start
Scenario: The AASYP Team is brainstorming some ideas for future events. The team has come up with the following potential ideas, without considering their suitability.
- Youth Talent Contest/Singing Competition
- Youth Dance Competition
- Youth Virtual Pen Pal Program
- Cross-cultural skills workshops
- Professional development/careers workshops
- Street Food Cooking Competition
- AASYP Karaoke Social Event
- Youth Trivia Night
- ASEAN-Australia Youth Amazing Race
- Youth Networking Conference
- Youth Artist Showcase
- ASEAN-Australia Careers Fair
Activity: Give me your worst
This activity is similar to “Ideas Burst” and is a great one to try if you feel tired or that you’ve run out of creativity.
- Come up with as many bad, horrible, ridiculous, silly, potentially illegal or just logically impossible ideas to address your opportunity or problem – the sky is the limit.
- Then, go through the ‘bad ideas’ and see if any aspects of them have value or whether some elements of your bad idea can be used to inspire good ideas
Why is this useful?
- This activity aims to give you a fresh perspective on the problem or opportunity you are looking at
- The point of this activity is not to endorse terrible ideas, but to provide you with an opportunity to consider a completely different approach
- Even though the ideas you come up with might be terrible, elements of these ‘bad ideas’ could spark some new ideas or be refined into something great
- These ‘bad ideas’ could also help you to identify risks or things that you should not include in your good idea
Scenario: The AASYP Team is brainstorming some ideas for future events. The team has come up with ‘bad’ or impossible event ideas.
- Virtual silent disco event but people are not allowed to sing or dance
- Virtual house tour of all Prime Ministers/Presidents homes in Southeast Asia and Australia
- Desert island disco party but there is no food or tents (Fyre Festival vibes)
- Weekend social event where attendees fly on private jets to visit each other
- Giant pool party with a waterslide that connects all ASEAN countries and Australia
- 8 hour networking event where everyone has to list their credentials but cannot actually speak to others
- ASEAN-Australia Youth Conference but all the speakers and attendees are retirees
- Careers event where the speaker reads out a PowerPoint presentation about all the benefits of meeting young people from other countries
Selecting and Validating Ideas
Once you have a list of all your ideas, you will need to narrow them down and select the best ones. Your final idea should be the most desirable, viable and feasible.
- Desirability: Do people want it and how will it provide value?
- Feasibility: Have you identified the strengths of your idea and figured out how to address any risks or obstacles?
- Viability: Are you able to actually implement or deliver it? What additional assistance would you need?
Here are some questions that you can use to help you decide which is your best idea.
- Are you trying to address a problem or a symptom?
- Why is this problem worth solving?
- Do you understand the problem well enough?
- Do you know are the key players in this area?
- Who can support you and your idea?
- Who can you collaborate with to make it happen?
- Does your solution actually solve the problem?
- Why is it best to solve the problem this way, rather than another way?
- Can your solution evolve and grow?