Creative Workshops and Ideation


Summary


It's Monday again! Today Matt and Chris are talking about Creative Workshops: what they are, why we do them and how you can do one.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, just stick them below and we'll try and address them in a future vlog.

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Video Transcript:

Chris: Hello.

Matt: Hi.

Chris: I'm Chris.

Matt: And I'm Matt.

Chris: Today we're talking about creative workshop.

Matt: Well-covered (reference to Chris putting sticky note over whiteboard text).

Chris: Some Americans may call it Ideation; that “idea-creation”.

Matt: We call it a creative workshop. We say what it is.

Chris: Exactly.


What is Creative Workshop?

Chris: Basically, it's a time away from your day-to-day job with an impartial mediator to solve problems or come up with new ideas.

Matt: We say “with an impartial mediator” but it doesn't have to be. That can often work best because it’s somebody from outside of your company that might be in a better position to pull you out of that rut - pull you out of where you are. But, you can do this with your marketing team or something like that it. It would still work and as long as you have some good focus there's definitely some value in doing that.


But why do it?

Chris: It could transform the way your marketing team problem solves and communicates. It really lifts you out of where you are and makes everyone think in a new way.

Matt: We see this in many companies that have marketing teams. They might be doing the same thing over and over each year. Sometimes they want some fresh perspective and a fresh idea; we're going to do another vlog about that down the line actually. We know that these kind of exercises can really help energize a marketing team and help bring a new direction to the business.

Chris: Yes so we talked about how we do it, what we do?


How to do a Creative Workshop

Matt: The first thing is to set some goals understand what the day is for; it could be to solve a problem. Perhaps there is something going wrong in the business, you want to improve conversion, maybe there's something specific or it could be a little bit more general such as “We want to try and explore new ideas and new ways of working”.

Chris: First thing to do is set a realistic schedule. You've got either a half day or a full day; you just need to figure out what tasks you want to do. What project you want to work on throughout the day and don't try to do too much.

Matt: Give yourself plenty of time to do those tasks because it can take longer than you think.

Chris: You can research interesting tasks. If you search for “ideation” there's lots of interesting tasks to pull you out of where you are at the minute. One interesting one is if you take something that you know is true or you believe is true, turn that on it’s head. The example would be: “I know a chair has four legs” so what would happen if you came from the position of saying “well I'd check chair doesn't have four legs. It can have a million legs. What would that look like?”.

Ideas can flow out of that so take something from your business and turn on this head.

Matt: As you said, if you have six legs you could maybe rock back on those two and if you start redesigning that way it's a good way of looking at products as well. If you're doing an ideation day (sorry a creative workshop!) around your products alone or your services and think of them in a totally different way, flip the way you do that on its head. There's loads of different types of activity you can do, just get them scheduled and make sure you balance a little bit of education with some creative activities as well.

Chris: What we like to do is we try to edit some video clips together to inspire people to think slightly differently before you go into those events.

Matt: Really important as well is to give everyone in the room a voice because some people are louder than others. Me, I'm quite loud. We want to make sure that everybody contributes and has a say. One thing you can do with that is use things like these little sticky notes and when you get people to work on these creative ideas make sure that sometimes the quietest voices are also heard too. You don't just throw it out to an open forum because sometimes those quieter voices may not be heard.

Chris: I think it's a thing Steve Jobs said once: “actually the best ideas come from the quietest voice in the room”.

Matt: Not me them because I'm the loudest. There are no bad ideas. It's important not to shoot anybody down, to remain really positive and to keep the energy as high as possible. Which brings on to our next point, we did one recently we thought we'd would take our client out and have a lovely giant burger and chips. It was delicious but it sucked all out of our energy and we were ready for bed. So keep the lunch pretty light.

Chris: Yeah, salads and sushi!

Matt: Salads and sushi all the way. Break up the day with some coffee breaks and things like that to try keep it fluid. That's our advice anyway.

Chris: The next thing is to capture everything. All the tiny ideas. Take photos of whiteboards; when you finish a particular project you want to be able to go away and remember everything that happened because there's going to be loads and loads of ideas that you need to come back to in the future. It's really useful to do that.

Matt: When you wrap up the day look back to those goals see if you've achieved them and try to take away something really actionable, something really pragmatic that you can actually then use to make a difference and get the most value out of this exercise.

Chris: It's really important that if you've been on a day out, the next day in the office people aren't just going: “well that was a nice day” and carry on in their usual rut. Everyone's got to be energized to do things differently because that's the reason you did the creative workshop in the first place.

Matt: And that's our rough guide to running a workshop.

Chris: Yeah, we're all done. Great.

Matt: Great.

Chris: Love this stuff.

Matt: He was Chris, Hi I'm Matt.

Chris: See ya.

Matt: Thanks.


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