I took part in the first Boston Content Hackaton a few weeks ago. The teams were randomly selected and paired with companies. Our team of four was assigned to work with RainTap, a company selling custom tap handle umbrellas.
In the first 10-15 minutes, we learned about the company, their customers and challenges. When we moved to the brainstorming session, we asked lots of questions and explored a variety of ideas.
RaitTaps has been struggling with content marketing. We consulted Ben, the company’s Founder and CEO, on a new content marketing campaign and helped him hack together a new approach to tackle the problems he’s been facing in his day-to-day operations. We followed IDEO’s 7 Important Rule to Unlock the Creative Power of a Brainstorming Session:
- Defer judgement – you never know where a good idea is going to come from.
- Encourage wild ideas – think about what you really want without the constraints of technology or materials; wild ideas can often give rise to creative leaps.
- Build on the ideas of others – be positive, use “and” instead of “but.”
- Stay focused on the topic.
- One conversation at a time – more likely to build on an idea and make a creative leap if everyone is paying full attention to the person who is sharing a new idea.
- Be visual – put ideas on post-its & whiteboards – get creative!
- Go for quantity – as many new ideas as possible.
In a hour, we discussed Ben’s challenges, brainstormed and refined ideas, built on the best ideas, formulated our recommendations, and then presented our suggestions to the other teams in 5 minutes.
I learned that the goal of a brainstorming session is not a perfect idea; it’s lots of ideas, collaboration, and openness to wild solutions.
You can read Ben’s blog post about his experience at the hackaton and learn more about how our team helped him here: