The evolution of brainstorm meetings
[caption id="attachment_1753" align="alignright" width="300" caption="A classic fika"][/caption]
Today we launched a new game on or Play portal, and afterwards celebrated with some afternoon fika. During this little 45 min break we also held some internal pitching, to select the next concept that will become a Play game.
Everybody have been given the heads up during the preceeding week, to prepare a single-sheet concept drawing/pitch, and was given the opportunity to pitch. Each game got like 2-3 minutes of pitch time, then everybody voted, and we ended up with a nice new concept that Juha will start working on next week.
Previously, years ago, we had Friday sessions where everybody was encouraged to brainstorm new ideas on the spot. We set aside a couple of hours for this every other Friday, and while there was no pressure to produce anything, it was our way of feeding new ideas into the company. It failed miserably and noone liked those sessions. Turns out you don't innovate on the spot, when asked to.
If we would have had really tight rules and themes for what we could produce, like draw 3 words from a hat and make 10 concepts out of those, that might work better. But to get unlimited reins like that in a dedicated time slot didnt work at all.
Now the team is encouraged to write down ideas on paper during the week (taking time off for this is perfectly fine) and then present them on the Friday. Those with ideas and drive will participate, the others will just sit back, enjoy the fika, and vote on the games. Also, during the pitching, many will chime in with their own takes on it, which further feeds more ideas.
I think we have found a pretty nice setup now! We'll tweak the process over time of course, but I definitely feel we're on the right track. Especially the fact that we have a guy that does nothing but prototypes - not only is prototyping a way to measure a concepts' value, it also feeds alot of energy back to the main team when new stuff is happening all the time and the small ideas we have are being worked on.
I feel extremely good about the future!