We often tell our clients that sometimes it’s easier to think outside their offices (and inside ours) when it comes to idea generation. We also take our own advice (once in a while).
We asked two of our Creative Consumers® associates (CCs) about one of their favorite ideation excursions. Both of them said, “getting out of the office.” Here are their stories:
One of my favorite creative excursions took place with clients during a day-long ideation session. The room had percolated well with fresh ideas all morning, but we slipped into a slightly stuck place in the early afternoon. New ideas kept coming, but the atmosphere in the room had gotten a little bogged down. So, brilliantly, the decision was made to get outside. The CCs paired up with members of the client team, and we went outside for instant stimulus. We literally took ourselves out of the box.
As soon as we got outdoors, new creative associations began to fire, immediately spurring new ideas. Not only did the environment shift, but the creative dialogue took on a new form because we were working with different people. It also felt more collaborative, because the client team wasn't hiding in the back. They took the initiative to directly engage with me and the other CCs—and that inspired a greater level of creativity for everyone.
Midway through one ideation project in New York City, I was sent with a pair of clients on a walking excursion a few blocks to Grand Central Station Market. We went in search of idea-stimulating products to purchase and bring back to the ideation session. We were given a street map and an envelope full of dough to spend. My companions and I had a blast exploring our subterranean wonderland, filling our shopping bags, taking photographs of the more pricy items, and sampling the freebies offered up by the vendors. I answered the clients’ questions as best I could, finding myself caught up in their excitement.
Our walk back to the project facility was a blur of overstimulated conversation and an ideation session in and of itself—with the three of us furiously scribbling in our notepads while we speed-walked. Other groups of three were sent to different locations throughout NYC, including those based in Fashion, Art, and Cuisine.
The flurry of conversation and idea generating in the project room following these sojourns were nothing short of epic, and could’ve gone all night if time permitted. The clients and the CCs worked as if competing on The Amazing Race, except that we all had the same goal in our sights, and everybody won in the end.