Idea & Concept Development

2-40 people

The Ideation and Concept Development process enables groups to work together creatively and collaboratively to generate innovative ideas. This approach is versatile and can be tailored to various situations. It involves fundamental principles for idea generation and multiple stages for group collaboration. Additionally, it encompasses steps for selecting and developing ideas.

Workshop steps


Divide participants into groups of 4-6 members. Explain the goal of the ideation exercise, which will vary based on your specific situation. It might be a session to explore and develop ideation techniques, or a results-focused workshop aimed at generating fresh ideas. Regardless, start with an introduction to establish the context. The Double Diamond Model


Present Ideation Principles: Start with a brief overview of the key principles for successful ideation. These are easy-to-follow guidelines that encourage creativity, diverse thinking, and a large number of ideas during the initial ideation phase. Embrace "Yes, and..." Build upon others' ideas by saying "yes!" and expanding on their thoughts. Actively listen for chances to develop and elaborate. Aim for Quantity In the first stage, focus on generating as many ideas as possible, rather than trying to come up with only "good" ideas. Let all ideas flow freely. Delay Judgment Hold back your inner critic and avoid evaluating ideas as they emerge. All ideas are welcome, and the time for assessment will come later. Teamwork Matters Ensure that every team member is involved and has the opportunity to contribute their ideas. Make room for everyone's input.


Introduce the main question: Now, present the question that teams will brainstorm about. In certain situations, teams might create their own questions. In other cases, there might be a central question for all teams to tackle. Ensure that "the main question" is open, straightforward, and captivating, aiming to solve an urgent issue or requirement.


Idea Generation Tools: Start by clearly defining the question or questions for your team. Then, use one or more idea generation techniques to help them brainstorm. 1. Association: In teams, use random words or images to spark ideas. Pick a random word or image, brainstorm ideas related to it for two minutes, then choose a new one and repeat. 2. Negative Brainstorming: Turn the main question into its negative form and brainstorm ideas around it. For example, how could you create the world's worst Toolbox? After generating negative ideas, see what happens when you reverse them. 3. Think Like a Brand: Approach the focus question as if you were a well-known company or organization, such as Google, Nike, a Kickstarter project, the United Nations, a local government, or Ikea. 4. User Perspective: Consider the focus question from the viewpoint of specific users. How would it look for a 15-year-old boy? For your grandmother? And so on. 5. Mash-up: Use the "Mash-up approach" by listing technologies and things related to your focus question. Then, combine different elements and see what new ideas emerge.


Brainstorm! Allocate a specific time for teams to generate ideas using one or more of the introduced tools. Ensure the duration is long enough for a creative flow, but short enough to maintain a sense of urgency.


Group & Simplify: Following the brainstorming stage, instruct teams to categorize and arrange their concepts. This includes combining related themes and alike ideas. They must eliminate repetitions and assign a name to each group.


Choose Ideas: After teams have grouped and arranged their thoughts, instruct them to pick one or multiple ideas to proceed with. Offer a list of selection guidelines or let teams create their own. For instance: choose ideas based on relevance, feasibility, and newsworthiness. Once the criteria are established, use a quick method like Dotmocracy for selection, where each participant gets a specific number of dots to allocate to the ideas presented. The ideas with the most dots will have the highest group approval.


Take action! The last step involves expanding on the most promising idea discovered in the previous step. Participants should dive deeper into the concept, examining its functionality, feasibility, business model, and other details. This can be accomplished within the same session or in a separate, longer session.

Need help with this workshop?

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Anna Lundqvist
UX Designer and AI Ethics Strategist guiding innovative product development and educational workshops
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Eddy Salzmann
Design lead and team culture enthusiast driving products and design processes
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Ola Möller
Founder of MethodKit who has a passion for organisations and seeing the big picture
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