Rick Boersma

Click here to learn more about Juice’s innovation training program, Innovation in a Box!

When it comes to innovation, many people enjoy the ideation stage…but anything after that is considered work.

Why? Post-ideation involves securing buy-in from the “higher-ups.” It requires persuasive presentation skills. It’s stressful.

But it doesn’t have to be.

As part of Juice’s innovation training program Innovation In A Box, we sometimes add in a gaming component to build excitement and energy beyond the ideation stage.

We call it Dragons’ Den (aka Shark Tank in the US).

How it works

Here’s how our version of Dragon’s Den plays out.

As part of Juice’s innovation training, we divide participants into groups. Each group is tasked to work on a real project using the Innovation In A Box suite of tools (also known as the i5). These tools not only help generate and strengthen ideas; but evaluate and prioritize ideas based on impact; and create, test, and deliver on a plan.

At the end of training, we assign each group 15 minutes to present their strongest idea to executives (the “Dragons”) using two tools:

  • A Strategic Gameplan: to demonstrate the quality of thinking that went into the idea
  • A first-draft prototype: such as a sketch, schematic or screenshot to make the conceptual idea more concrete

The objective: to get buy-in from the “Dragons.”

The reception

For fun’s sake, we try to make the activity a little competitive as groups compete to have the “best” idea.

That said, our Dragons’ Dens often turns into something more like Butterflies’ Den or Angels’ Den.

Why? Having used the i5 suite of tools, groups present their ideas with a great amount of detail (often put together in as little as two days). This never fails to impress the Dragons.

So while the popular television show is often about shooting down ideas, we always find the Dragons build up or build on the groups’ ideas in the midst of the presentations—and getting excited about the ideas being presented!

The voting

After the presentations, Juice has a customized voting app that the Dragons can use to score each idea according to criteria including:

  • Desirability—is there a customer or user for this idea?
  • Feasibility—is this something we can technically accomplish?
  • Viability—does the idea make business sense?
  • Relevance—is the idea connected to or does it solve a business challenge?

The outcome

We eventually end the session with a “winner”—but the Dragons always score each idea highly.

Not only that: motivated by the excitement of the Dragons, presenting groups get the impetus and organizational support to move their ideas forward to the implementation stage.

And finally, participants realize that post-ideation can actually be fun.

Happy innovating!

Looking to take your ideas past the brainstorming/ideation stage? Learn more about the Juice i5 and innovation training program, Innovation In A Box.

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Brady Wilson

Brady Wilson

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