• Be Focused on a Clear Innovation Objective
    As with any innovation project, ensure that your online teams understand the objectives for the project and look to divide large teams into different “innovation pillar” teams.  Give online delegates clear instructions via email and webex meetings to share insights or ideas in line with these agreed objectives.  And during online voting, ensure that the evaluation is linked to agreed objectives.
  • Appoint a Leader for Each Virtual Team
    If you have different teams, ensure that you appoint one person to be the “virtual leader” for that team.  They should be a core member of the internal project team and they have responsibility for encouraging online participation with their “virtual team” and checking delegate inputs are in line with agreed innovation objectives.
  • Give People Time
    The beauty of online insight and idea collaboration, is that people can take part at a time that suits them.  But ensure you give them enough time to complete the different online tasks e.g. time to share initial ideas; evaluation of early insights; final voting. And with clever delegate tracking, you will be able to see who has got involved and who you need to “chase”.
  • Maximise the Power of Minds
    A key benefit of online collaboration is that you can maximise the creative talents of much larger teams, to ultimately achieve better outcomes that have stronger internal support.  When running an online collaboration project, invite a wider internal team to take part, combined with external inputs from creative agents or target consumers – all to maximise the power of minds.
  • Provide Good Stimulus Materials
    Use online portals and web-links to provide good stimulus for local insight gathering and idea generation tasks.  Encourage local teams to use this stimulus material either online or via local workshop sessions. For idea generation, examples of good stimulus include deep and relevant consumer insights; global trends; competitive claims; R&D updates; creative thinking questions.
  • Take Time to Refine Leading Insights and Ideas
    Ensure that the online brainstorming system you use not only captures all the early insights and ideas, but also provides an easy way of grouping, merging and refining leading insights and ideas for each of the agreed innovation pillars.  If you are working with a global team, we recommend that you use professional copy editors to lead this work so that the final insights and ideas are well written.

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In addition to the above Top Tips about online brainstorming, you may want to consider building in more time for delegate training via web-ex meetings e.g. definitions of good insights and ideas; how to use different stimulus materials. In addition; consider having prizes and rewards to encourage online delegate participation. Please get in touch if you would like more information about running online brainstorming sessions for your business, or if you would like to use our online brainstorming tool, virtualHOTHOUSE®.


Ideas First® are a specialist creativity and product innovation agency. We are passionate about helping our clients develop innovative new ideas and concepts that are truly creative, stand out from the crowd, and that drive business growth.





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