Innovation workshop.

Deeson's innovation workshop offers a structured approach to developing creative new business concepts and planning their refinement and implementation.

How true is it that the various departments within your business or organisation frequently operate entirely independently of each other?

We've found that when a client's teams don't know and understand each other's thinking, it's almost impossible to generate and develop innovative business concepts that will really stick. New ideas tend to come from upper management, and often experience unforeseen blockers along the way that prevent them from coming to fruition.

Deeson's innovation and ideation workshop is run over one or two days, and provides an invaluable opportunity to break free from the patterns and behaviours that stifle creativity.

Arrange an innovation workshop. Get in touch

Our innovation workshop blends business understanding, design thinking and technology to help you identify commercially viable concepts for new digital products and features.

Simon Wakeman Managing Director at Deeson

Workshop structure.

Our innovation and ideation workshop is tailored to each client we work with, while drawing on a toolkit of proven approaches and exercises.

Ahead of the workshop.

First, we provide a brief to attendees a week before the workshop and encourage them to start looking out for opportunities and inefficiencies within the business, and even to come prepared with some ideas. We find this leads to a more dynamic session, because people aren't blindsided by having to be "creative" on the spot.

Second, we help you identify who should attend the workshop. It's important to include people working at the coalface, and not just those at a senior level. There should be a deep understanding of your customers' goals and challenges, and this almost always comes from the people dealing with your customers on a daily basis.

On the day.

The workshop is run according to each client's needs, but usually follows the same rough format:

Setting the agenda.

We encourage someone from your team to introduce the day and clearly state the objectives, so that your team fully understands your commitment to innovation. We've found it doesn't work as well if it feels enforced by us as a third party.

The mini blueprint.

We begin by identifying and defining the biggest challenges your organisation has and distilling these down into more approachable pieces. This is a timeboxed two hour session with a focus on your vision, strategy to achieve it, and the pain points you currently see. We also offer an intensive dedicated blueprint workshop run over a full day, for clients about to kick-off a large-scale digital project.

The definition.

We then define each of the challenges identified, and list them in order of priority. This takes no longer than one hour.

Idea generation.

Now it's time to start ideation. Taking each of the challenges listed in the morning session we use a range of techniques to help you find potential solutions to your problems. These include noting consumer trends and opportunities, looking for best practices outside of your own or competitors' business, and thinking about how your business might adopt new technologies to add value.

The key here is to ideate quickly and not over-think each idea – we're aiming for volume. We'll evaluate and refine these ideas in the next stage.

Idea refinement.

This helps engage participants who prefer to visualise concepts, and tells a story which we can then capture in a more enduring format. To help you decide if this is right for your team, we can send out pre-workshop questionnaires that include attendees' preferred learning style.

Whatever the presentation, the purpose of the next stage is to narrow down our pool of ideas into a shortlist that can be explored in greater detail. We use anonymous voting for the most truthful responses.

Developing business concepts.

At this point we break into smaller groups, and assign one of the selected ideas to each sub-team. Their mission is to interrogate the idea, and consider what problem it solves, what value it could add, and how it aligns with the organisation's overall strategy. How would it help you generate revenue? Who would own and/or fund it? Most importantly of all: who would the customer be?

Pitching to the group.

Having considered and answered as many of these questions as possible, and refined the idea into a more fully-formed proposal, break-out teams will have the opportunity to pitch to one another, ask questions and constructively challenge assumptions. 

Usually we will run another round of refinement at this stage, in the open this time. We encourage the group to agree on voting criteria before the pitches begin, to ensure that each idea is appraised on the same grounds.

Planning the next steps.

Towards the end of the workshop, the group will have selected a small number of new ideas that they feel confident and inspired about. To ensure these ideas don't fizzle out as soon as we leave the room, we make a point of planning the next steps and assigning responsibility.

These next steps will look very different depending on the idea, but often include rapid prototyping, creating a minimum viable product (MVP), and testing the idea with real users. From there, you will be able to refine your idea and introduce it in production.

Following the workshop.

Post-workshop we will send you a feedback survey and a pack capturing all the ideas generated on the day, for you to distribute amongst your teams. We will also follow up with you to check in on progress, and can offer support and advice in the face of blockers.

Arrange an innovation workshop.

This workshop is suitable for businesses who need to innovate in order to respond to increased competition, who are looking to help different departments work together more effectively, or who simply wish to foster a culture of innovation in their teams. Get in touch to discuss your needs.

Further reading.