At Diagonal Media we understand the power of ideation.

We believe the best creative sparks come from working with people you trust.  When we get new projects, we set aside time to have an ideation session.

“When the ideas are coming, I don’t stop until the ideas stop because that train doesn’t come along all the time.”

– Dr. Dre

Great ideas sometimes spontaneously combust, like Doc Brown hitting his head in the bathroom and suddenly imaging the flux capacitor. They’re less like a lightbulb and more like a lightning bolt. When an idea strikes, run with it. We try to explore any and all possibilities that could possibly associate with that idea. I’m always fascinated when Idea #72 of the brainstorm session ends up being Zeus’ javelin. When the creative juices are flowing, it’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s energetic. After a successful ideation session, we feel empowered and inspired to create.

On the other hand…sometimes you feel the infamous writer’s block.

Sometimes it feels like you’re trying to cross the only road out of town but there’s a police SWAT team with tire spikes and the Captain is Gandalf with his wizards mast shouting…

Do not be discouraged. Believe in the process. Read, write, explore. Sometimes expanding your knowledge about a topic is all you need to open the pathways to success. If you throw enough…uhhh spaghetti at the wall, something’s bound to stick. 

 “Someone once told me growth and comfort do not coexist. And I think it’s a really good thing to remember.”

– Ginni Rometty

Sometimes stepping outside of your comfort zone can inspire innovation. A change of environment, a change of mentality, or a change of perspective. Collaboration from all kinds of sources is key to fresh ideas. 

If you are thinking about having an ideation session at your next meeting. Here are a few things we think you should have:

The bare necessities…

  1. Pens, paper, markers & a great space to work together
  2. Something to write on that everyone can see – we love big post-it pads or, of course, a whiteboard! A clean slate that can be filled with ideas and inspiration.
  3. A SCRIBE – pick the person with the best handwriting
  4. Snacks, water, and sometimes LaCroix*
  5. A judgment free-zone – there are NO bad ideas and we can’t censor ourselves in this safe space.  We have to let the creative flow happen without any blockage.

Here’s how our meetings start:

  • We get out a marker and start writing down words on our whiteboard. Then we create categories and draw lines connecting words. We DO NOT erase anything. 
  • We share any and all ideas that we have. The only way to tell if an idea is good is by comparing it to 99 bad ideas. Yes, we sometimes get sidetracked by word-soup tangents, but by letting any idea come out, we open ourselves up to the opportunity of genius. When we finally exhaust all of our energy and possibilities we take a photo of the board and create an action-plan for what happens next. Which is typically formalizing our best 3 ideas into a proposal for the client.

Let us know if you have any concepts or projects that could use an ideation session. We’ll bring the snacks! Oh, also snacks are  important for creativity. And everything. 

How do you and your company come up with new ideas? 

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