“Ideas are teasers of the possible future; making ideation the primal step of Futuring 🚀!”      

~Suyog Sunil Risbud

The best part about ideation is that it can never be used up. In fact, the more you use creativity, the more you have it! When it comes to ideating, you not only get the opportunity to spark off a variety of creative ideas but also to get out of your comfort zone and experiment with anything and everything that may catch your attention. However, there are times when we are stuck, experience a creative block, and feel unsure. Especially amidst these tough times of the pandemic, it is difficult to brainstorm to our fullest potential and there is a high possibility of going off track. 

To make it easier for all of the creative enthusiasts out there, Headstart hosted a workshop on Creative Ideation for Innovation. We had with us Suyog Sunil Risbud aka The fun Indian guy. Living up to the expectations, the workshop was a perfect combination of creative, fun, and musical! One thing that got all of us pumped-up was his almost inspiring way of conducting the workshop – a standing setup throughout! This not only motivated the audience, but his energy was contagious to the point that everyone’s productivity reached its peak! 

Beginning with the basic definitions and explanations of the terms’ idea and ideation, Suyog made sure that he clarifies the difference between the two. To put anything into practical use, it is important to be clear with the foundation. The difference is simple; ideas on one hand can come anytime and anywhere, irrespective of the time, place, or space. Sometimes, you may not even have the intention of coming up with an idea but it might just come to you out of nowhere. On the other hand, ideation is more intentional and planned. It is a complete process that requires structure, activities, and specifically set goals. After all, you can’t always wait for that A-HA moment when you are trying to build something.

The workshop progressed with a discussion on the 5 pillars of ideation – 

User-centered; since there is a high chance that your idea is trying to solve a problem in society, it is important to think about the people before deciding on a course of action. You can use various methods at each step of the journey to understand what the needs and wants of your target users are. 

Holistic; consider each and every aspect that may or may not affect the implementation of your idea. Sometimes, missing out on even one can negatively affect all the others. Be it the stakeholders, investors, users, resources, finances, and even your teammates – give each factor equal attention. 

Co-creational; taking all the different perspectives into consideration. It is no less than a collaborative innovation, where you share them in a group so that you can get more opinions and hence, better results.

Sequential; Pay attention to each aspect separately. This will not just help you figure out areas where that you may need to work on or areas that are good to go, but you will also gain some perspective and have some clarity in terms of the flow of your plan. 

Visualization; Make your ideas tangible. It is not only easier to understand but also easier to make the required improvements and to take action accordingly. 

The final activity for the workshop got each one of us brainstorming on our ideas. In fact, during the process, we must even have discovered some aspects that we thought never even existed. Written by Dr. Edward De Bono, the activity is known as the 6 Thinking Hats. The purpose is to improve decision making by looking at the problem from various angles and as a result, coming up with a clear mind map. After quickly noting down keywords about the idea in the middle of a page, we all put our thinking caps on! 

  1. White Hat – Facts and information about the challenge you may be facing. What you feel is missing/can be included. Once you realize what is missing, you can either try to find solutions or take account of them. Do not make any interpretations, make use of the available data. 
  2. Red Hat – Focussing on your emotions and intuitions. Ask yourself – What do you feel? At the same time, be considerate towards your users and try to figure out how they might react emotionally. Try to find reasons for how you are feeling and why you are feeling what you are feeling. This is the time to acknowledge, realize, and accept. 
  3. Black Hat – Reflect on the risks, difficulties, and problems you may encounter on the way. There are things that might not work, note them down so that solutions can be found later on. This is important so that you are well aware of the weaknesses that need to be eliminated. If you cannot figure out the problems and loopholes in advance, you might feel underprepared.  
  4. Yellow Hat – This is all about positivity. Think about your idea and ask yourself – why will this work? There may be times where everything seems pointless and of no value, but this is when the optimism and motivation come in handy. You want to implement this idea for a reason and so it is important to be aware of all the strengths and benefits.  You have an opportunity, come up with proposals to make it happen. 
  5. Green Hat – The time to Innovate! Jot down any new ideas, concepts, or perspectives. You can use your creativity and skills to explore different ideas. It is a chance to explore different ideas and get out of your comfort zone. Let your imagination get out of the box where the sky is the limit and you might just have a breakthrough. 
  6. The Sorting Hat – It is important to make sense of all that you have come up with. For all your plans to take practical shape and be implemented, you need to make sure it is feasible, workable, and viable. Observe, make connections, and figure out if you are on the right track. 

One thing that is worth mentioning is the use of music throughout the activity; calm and liberating. The relaxation the music bought along with it caused all of us to get in touch with our emotions. With the kind of tunes that were played, it felt like we could focus on the task at hand and our productivity instantly increased. Music and Creativity seem to be a perfect pair! 

In a nutshell, in a world where everyone is tired of workshops and webinars, Suyog managed to set a new trend by making sure everyone is engaged and interactive. Apart from being extremely insightful and informative, the workshop was neither generic nor like any of the other basic ones! 

 

Contributed By

Anoushka Chopra

A volunteer at Headstart.