“To effectively ideate, sometimes a
creative team must give itself time
to share ideas with no expectation
Marketing communications professionals are classically taught to think about form before content. You need a brochure, a blog, or an email. Great! Now let’s fill that full of content. But the greatest success in the ideation stage comes from reversing that process. There are so many channels and so many formats the content can take that it’s really important to begin with the content. That means beginning with the story and its value. When you start structuring and telling that story, the form becomes clearer. This approach releases you from being caught in the constraints of the form. Channel and format come later in the planning stage.
Ideation is not always efficient. To ideate effectively, sometimes a creative team must give itself time to share ideas with no expectation of output. Organizations rarely encourage content teams to think about all the new and cool and interesting content they could create unimpeded by an output requirement. If you can develop the practice of giving yourself and the team time to brainstorm, with no expectation of being efficient, you actually become more efficient. Allowing ourselves to be creative and invest in time where there is no expected efficiency enables us to schedule things that are designed to be executed in an efficient manner.