Best ideas come as jokes. Make your thinking as funny as possible — David Ogilvy

Recently, I was participating in discussions with a group of people who ideate concepts for the next big product visions.

The presenters were not able to articulate their ideas as expected. They had cool things to show but ideas remained fragile and not really taken shape.

Every attempt were immediately attacked by mixed opinions and rejections by an audience with different perspectives and characters types.

As an experiment, I tried to mentally group the participants based on their why-not and why-you-can’t-do-this arguments into the famous ’s Dreamers, Realists and Spoilers categories (which I’ll explain soon). And guess what, they all fell in place very nicely.

the lesson is..

If we put everyone in one room, Dreamers are the first one to die. Realists survive momentarily but eventually spoilers will not let both Dreamers and Realists talk.

This is how exactly I witnessed the interactions happened

Here is the Disney way of ideation.. which would have worked for us

Different rooms for different groups.

Dreamers (Why not)

Ideas are the key focus. All ideas are welcome. No one criticise each other. Separate room. Chairs arranged in circle and all face each other. Document everything and take it to the Realists.

Realists (How to do)

Validate how practical are those ideas. Use experience to propose a solution on how to do it. Chairs arranged in semi-circle with ideas in front of them. Face each other but still get to work on a solutions. Document everything and send to the Spoilers.

Spoilers (Why cannot)

Battle test. Ideas are criticised to the core. Find weaknesses and tell why this cannot be done. Each member has their own perspective and given a chance to punch holes in to the proposal. Chairs arranged in flat rows, each facing directly on the proposal.

This way, fragile ideas are super-strong before they reach the critics who test how strong the ideas are, and realists in the middle makes sure good ideas don’t die.

Not sure if it was really practices in Disney studios. But the process makes a lot of sense.

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