Discover new ideas and gain buy-in around business issues and solutions with our business outcome ideation session

Executive overview

WWT’s Business Outcome Ideation Sessions are a great way for a group to come together to better understand and build consensus around a business problem and possible solutions. Sessions range from four to six hours and go through several phases of group brainstorming to discover new ideas and then work to prioritize the ideas to focus on. Each Business Outcome Ideation Session revolves around a central question and key objectives that are set by the session’s sponsor in advance. Our facilitators will use this information to plan out appropriate activities to generate insights and outcomes supportive of the central question. Activities at the beginning of the session will establish and confirm the relevance of the central question, while also assessing connections and priority between ideas brainstormed and the central question.

Our facilitators will use a variety of ideation techniques to engage with the group during the session including group discussion, individual writing and reflection, conversation mapping, sketch and visual modeling and perhaps physical modeling. Participants should be prepared to engage and share during the session – participants will spend some time working individually, working with partners or small groups and working and sharing with the large group.

Session preparation

Our facilitators will meet with the sponsor prior to the session to determine the central question and objectives. At this time, the facilitators will need to know how many people will be attending, if there will be any remote attendees and what type of meeting location/room the session will be held in. Ideally Business Outcome Ideation Sessions are held in open spaces where people are free to organize and move around without furniture getting in the way.

What to expect

As participants arrive at the session, the facilitators and sponsor will review the central question, session objectives and a high-level plan of activities for the Business Outcome Ideation Session. Participants will be asked to voice concerns and offer suggestions to best position for a successful outcome given the central question and objectives. A session typically consists of several activities linked together that go through cycles of divergent (focusing on generating new ideas) and convergent (identifying the highest impact ideas) thinking.

An example of such a cycle could be a group brainstorming current challenges to the business, prioritizing the challenges, brainstorming improvements for the top three challenges and then prioritizing each list of improvements.

Multi-hour Business Outcome Ideation Sessions typically include a break every 90 to 120 minutes to allow participants to recharge. Session participants are expected to be engaged at all times by sharing and actively listening to other participants. Should a participant need to take a phone call or check email, the facilitators will ask that they excuse themselves from the session briefly and then return when available as to not disturb activities in progress.

After the session

Following the Business Outcome Ideation Session, our facilitators will complete post-processing activities to capture all data generated during the session. Facilitators will decide in advance with the session sponsor on the desired format and depth of ideation proceedings to compile – the wording of the central question may lead to certain types of proceedings being compiled, such as a product backlog, a roadmap, an investment plan, a risk matrix, etc. Proceedings typically include a summary of all ideas generated, visual artifacts (photos/sketches) created and a recommendation on next steps based on the insights and ideas gathered during the session. It is also common that Business Outcome Ideation Sessions link together (to refine and improve upon prior ideas), so the proceedings from one session may setup the central question and activities to explore deeper in a future session.

View our Business Outcome Ideation Session brochure.