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Generating Great Ideas at Conferences

Posted on March 26, 2007

By Ed Bernacki

As a speaker on innovative thinking, I often see many ideas left on the conference floor because no one asked for them.  Any conference can be an ‘idea factory’. Here are the basics to get high quality participation:

·   Know what you are asking for. If you want opinions, ask “What makes it hard to contribute your best to your job?” If you want ideas, ask “How can we make this a better organization to work for?”

·   Give people a clear and concise written ‘challenge’ to explain what you want people to do. 

·   Know what you will do with these ideas after the event.

·   Never ask for ideas if you are not prepared to do something with them.

Word your question or challenge to ensure that it is easily understood. You want everyone focused on the same creative challenge. Collect the ideas and recognize the effort people invested to contribute them.   


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