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How to Manage Virtual Ideation


How to Manage Virtual Ideation

In this article, Shelli Baltman and co-founder Fiona Stevenson share what they’ve learned about virtual ideation during the pandemic, and explore how you can make it work for your team.

Congratulations!  If you’ve successfully transitioned from office-based working to a work-from-home model, you’re already an absolute champion!  Many of us talk about pandemic fatigue as if it’s simply a matter of navigating PPE and social distancing, while forgetting that the monumental task of completely transforming your working habits is a huge accomplishment in and of itself.  Give yourself a proverbial pat on the back for the way that you’ve seamlessly flexed into an entirely new working model!

But, even for those who’ve adjusted to – and may now even (mostly) prefer –  working from home, creative collaboration can still be one of the most challenging things to deal with in the virtual space. Even the best digital tools – from Zoom to Microsoft Teams – come with some built-in limitations when it comes to replicating what once happened in a boardroom or creative workshop space.

Having pivoted our in-person ideation approach at The Idea Suite to an entirely virtual one in the early days of the pandemic, we’re here to let you know that virtual ideation is not only possible, but in some ways is proving to be even better than the traditional in-person methodology. Now, of course, we’re not going to throw out the tried and tested experiential creativity just yet!  We are very much looking forward to the day when we can get back in a workshop room with our clients, enjoying simple acts that now seem like luxuries – like lunching together and physically writing down the ideas we come up with on pieces of actual paper. 

Since we don’t yet know when that day will come, though, we thought it would be worth sharing a few of the surprising benefits of the virtual ideation experience that we’ve discovered alongside our clients over the past several months:

It’s time for introverts to shine

 While the energy and fun of in-person ideation really cannot be beat, it is inherently geared toward more extroverted thinkers who enjoy coming up with ideas spontaneously and in groups. In translating the in-person experience of a full-day ideation workshop into a virtual model, though, we’ve been able to add personal working time between sessions. This allows more introverted thinkers to take their time and land their thinking as individuals, before sharing ideas with the group for feedback and building – helping to elicit some truly fantastic ideas that may not have emerged in a conventional session.

When it comes to ideas, more is more

 Most of our clients are over-achievers at heart, and when challenged, tend to over-deliver. Because the virtual experience provides more personal working time between sessions, the sheer breadth and number of ideas our client teams have been generating through the virtual ideation process has been astounding – and significantly higher than in person. This has accordingly given us an even larger pool of ideas from which to select those with the highest potential, which is a wonderful problem to have!


Key points include:

  • Building an engaging and seamless virtual process
  • Employing a skilled facilitator
  • Managing variables


Read the full article, The Surprising Upside Of Virtual Ideation, on