Todd Henry [Source]
About this template
Managing a team of creatives is hard, particularly when you’re used to being one yourself. Todd Henry’s Herding Tigers is the definitive leadership book for making the shift from creating to managing creatives.
The chapter entitled “Be The Muse: How to Spark Ideas” is a wealth of information about collecting and managing ideas. It outlines a process for hosting productive brainstorm sessions, where the problem is clear and everyone gets a chance to plan ahead and share. This agenda template is based on this process!
Creative Brainstorm Meeting Agenda
Several Days Before the Meeting:
Make sure the team knows the specific problem that you’re attacking during the session
Define the actual problem the team is solving, not just the project
Assign homework: each person should come up with three ideas to solving that problem
Problem and Objective: Re-state the problem and objective.
Time Limit for Brainstorm: Set a time frame for the idea session.
1. Idea Sharing Ask people to choose an idea they think has promise, that they came up with on their own, and share it with the group.
2. Group Discussion After everyone has shared ideas, open up the group discussion.
Which idea resonates the most with you?
Did anything you heard spark an insight or additional idea?
How did the ideas that were shared change your perception of the problem?
Does anyone have an additional idea — from the homework — that you think everyone should hear?
3. Leading Idea(s) and Next Steps Choose the leading idea(s) and determine next steps.
Source: Todd Henry
When to use this template
Use this template if you need to host a creative brainstorm meeting, whether it’s to kick off a new project, solve a tricky problem, or rethink an existing process or piece of work.
The key part of this template is that it requires “pre-work” — each individual attending the brainstorm has to come up with ideas beforehand and share them during the meeting. As Henry writes, “this will ensure that (a) they don’t come into the meeting cold, and b) you’ll have some things to discuss from the very start instead of desperately trying to get everyone up to speed.”