May 16, 2013 / Design Thinking / Creativity / Innovation

Get the Most Out of Brainstorming as Part of the Design Thinking Process

breakthrough model copyFaced with a challenging business problem to solve?  You need an idea.  Not just one idea, but many useful ideas.  In our experience, leaders who think like designers by using a design thinking process for solving business problems generate more potential useful ideas than those who do not.

In our work, we take our clients through a design thinking process using our Breakthrough! model. This 4-step process helps leaders generate and execute innovative ideas because it blends practicality with imagination. Through the brainstorming step, it is possible to generate a vast number of ideas – if the session is set up properly.  To get the most out of your brainstorming session, consider these critical success factors:

  • Be clear about the specific problem upfront.  Clarity on the problem guides the brainstorming process.
  • Encourage imagination.  Unconstrained thinking is the backbone of innovation!
  • Break the large group into smaller groups. A large group format limits idea generation as well as lends itself to groupthink and creates a potential scenario in which one person might dominate while others remain silent.
  • Each small group member produces an idea…and another…with limited time.  First individuals generate ideas alone on sticky notes. Then, in a small group format, the ideas are shared/posted aloud quickly without commentary.  Members are then challenged to add a large number of ideas in a limited period of time. With several small groups, the net is cast wide for maximum idea generation potential.

For additional tips on frenetic brainstorming as part of a design thinking process, culling the list of ideas, and other steps in the Breakthrough! model, download our Free Executive Guide to Design Thinking.

July 20, 2012 / Design Thinking / Creativity / Innovation / HR / Talent Management / News

The Breakthrough! Model Explained

breakthrough model

What wicked problem do you want to solve?  An operational efficiency? A new iteration of an old product?  A totally different offering that will hit home with your customers? How about a new revenues stream? These sometimes intractable problems need a breakthrough approach to be solved. Breakthrough! is a model and program designed by Mariposa Leadership’s own CEO, Sue Bethanis, to incorporate the latest most cutting-edge thinking.

Breakthrough! is a fresh model for fostering creativity, empathy, brainstorming, and problem solving in a corporate environment. The Breakthrough! model provides a specific method which can help leaders address customer needs and issues in a more efficient and creative way. Leaders will not only understand the customer more deeply, but will also have an arsenal of tools to use by which to expand upon that newfound understanding.

The key to applying the Breakthrough! model is to let go of the traditional incremental mindset that may stifle creativity. Through Breakthrough! (Empathy –> Brainstorm –> Prototype –> Test –> Implement), corporate leaders learn to balance and combine analytic thinking with intuitive, creative thinking so to maximize innovation and problem solving.

The aim of the Breakthrough! model is to provide the knowledge to create a starting point from which true innovation can grow and flourish to benefit any company in terms of problem solving, strategy, and idea generation.

Post your thoughts and questions in the comments section below!