If you're looking for innovation, stop brainstorming

As most successful business people know, innovation is the key to growth, therefore the purpose of being involved in an ideation workshop is to get your team and strategic agency together and innovate!

First though, it’s important to understand that an ideation workshop is different to a traditional brainstorming session, and the success rate of both activity styles is also different. Why? Because the challenge arises from how people behave when put into groups and under what conditions. When you put of group of participants in a room and ask them to throw keywords and random ideas on a whiteboard as with brainstorming, it doesn’t always work effectively and here are a few reasons why:

  1. Lack of preparation. It’s difficult to call a meeting & ask people to brainstorm without any preparation.
  2. Lack of focus. Beginning the meeting with a poorly defined topic or purpose.
  3. Judging every idea as its put forward.
  4. Letting a few participants dominate the discussion.
  5. Lack of structure. Creativity without structure doesn’t produce solid ideas.
  6. Fear of being wrong or having a ‘stupid’ idea.

An ideation workshop on the other hand is a creative process that helps to generate and develop new communication ideas but hinges around a strategically formulated plan designed to bring forward
great ideas but also make best use of the time so that key issues are effectively addressed.

Some key advantages to running an ideation workshop are:


Workshops are beneficial in helping to bond working relationships and ‘get to know’ each other, but they are also great at identifying those who are category experts, build trust and in the B2B world, encourage the sales team to get behind an idea which can be make or break.


A workshop provides the client and team with the knowledge they may need to understand the purpose and function behind a campaign strategy. Questions surrounding the mechanics of a campaign and whether it will work and how, are made transparent.


Exposure to emerging technologies and design innovations is important and workshops work as effective equalisers between agency and clients. They give everyone the opportunity to explore new approaches or interactive methods together rather than one side purely dictating what is achievable.


Data collection and insights are fundamental outcomes that workshops can produce. Collaborative activities generate data points to work with which can be translated into meaningful ideas.

Even though the word ‘ideation’ sounds very creative, no one needs to feel intimidated by it or that they need to be ‘creative individual’ in order to participate. The workshops are accessible for all and also work best with all key team members are present. Because as they say, the whole is greater than the sum of all parts and each person has the potential to contribute something meaningful. This is why an ideation workshop with an experienced facilitator can really benefit the collaborative experience.

At Finlayson, we facilitate ideation workshops that are tailored to your individual business needs and help guide you on a path of discovery, transformation or renewal. We aim to deliver on key outcomes, shape ideas and inspire, as well as facilitate alignment around core ideas and bring them to life.

They can be effective tools used in the development phase for a new business, new product, new content, service or a long-term campaign strategy.

If you would like to know more about the workshops or are interested in Finlayson facilitating one for your business, drop us a line at hello@finlaysoncommunications.com.au or give us a call for a chat on 9427 12 86.