Ideation Method: Mash-Up
"From Ideas to Action" Course Activity & Worksheet
Any great ideation session begins with a well-framed opportunity. We use something we call “How Might We” statements—an optimistic, solutions-oriented starting point. It’s critical that a How Might We statement allows for a broad set of solutions, but is narrow enough that we know where to start. For example, in a challenge around improving the patient experience at a hospital, one of our ideation sessions began with “How might we better support patients’ families in the hospital?”
Once the How Might We statement is defined, teams typically race to generate ideas. But there are other methods that can help teams push past the obvious. One of the fastest (and most fun) is called the Mash-up. A Mash-up brings odd or unexpected things together to spark fresh ideas. It’s outlined below, with more detail in the video and worksheets.
STEP 1 - FRAME - Articulate the challenge as a How Might We statement.
STEP 2 - NARROW - Pick two broad, unrelated categories, like hospitals and hotels or waiting rooms and schools. Think outside your industry.
STEP 3 - GENERATE - Starting with one category at a time, list as many elements of these two experiences you can in two minutes.
STEP 4 - MASH-UP - Combine items from the two lists to ideate as many new products, services or experiences as you can.
The Mash-up emphasizes quantity. The more ideas you come up with, the better chance you have to reach a truly brilliant solution. It also applies constraints. Quick sprints drive creative sessions and avoid burnout. Perhaps most importantly, it helps us start down the path from the ridiculous to the radical solution.
Click here to download the 2-page worksheet.
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