An Idea Campaign Café is a conversational method that you can use to solicit ideas on a particular issue, problem or opportunity for which you are looking for creative suggestions. It draws upon the conversational power of the Idea Café (a variant of the Knowledge Café) and the Randomised Coffee Trial processes.
Many organizations use suggestion boxes to capture ideas but usually with no clear statement of the problem that the company is looking to solve other than a broad declaration of say “reduce costs.”
People simply pop their ideas into a box – be it a traditional wooden one or a modern electronic version.
This procedure can work well, often generating thousands of suggestions in a large organization but falls far short of the impact that it might have for two reasons.
- First, there is not a focus on the real issues or problems that face the organization.
- Second, it does not capitalize on the power of people “thinking together”.
An Idea Campaign Café addresses both of these issues. In doing so it yields a smaller number of high quality, more focused ideas than traditional suggestion schemes.
More importantly, the process aligns ideas to the organization’s needs, and thus the ideas are more likely to be implemented and have a greater impact.
An Idea Campaign Café focuses creativity and fosters collaboration by bringing a broad group of people together in a series of conversations.
It focuses on a specific topic through a carefully crafted question.
Time is limited to encourage participation.
It can include a large audience or a limited group of participants.
It is built around the adaptation of two core conversational methods:
Knowledge Cafés bring people together in small groups (less than 30) to have conversations. Randomised Coffee Trials (RCTs) on the other hand bring people together in pairs.
The essence of the Idea Campaign Café is to design and run a series of Cafés and/or RCTs to bring people together to discuss the topic and generate ideas.
[Status: work in progress- to be expanded]
This page is part of an online book on Conversational Leadership that I am in the process of writing.
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