Have you ever been invited to a blue sky workshop? Where the sky is the limit, no idea is a bad idea, there are no boundaries, and so on? These types of blue sky thinking workshops are one of the biggest wastes of time around. And they are a terrific way to generate a bunch of ideas that can potentially lead an organisation off strategy very, very quickly. It’s time to ban blue sky thinking in innovation workshops.
Blue sky workshops are like playing darts without a dart board – you don’t know where to aim. And someone can end up getting hurt…
Instead, before running any workshop, spend some time identifying what problems and opportunities could you spend your time focusing on and that are relevant to the business, which will mean that the ideas you generate will be inherently linked to the broader organisational strategy.
Once you identify your problems, make sure you get to the root of them – so that you are not just solving a symptom. To get to the actual cause, keep asking ‘What is causing that” over and over again until you feel like you have reached the actual cause. Then, and only then, is it time for idea generation.