Designing and Leading Innovation Workshops

An innovation workshop should guide a group of people through a well-defined creativity process. The group has to support and to reach a common goal. All this is quiet a challenge.

Try to plan and to prepare your workshop as a logical series of clear and founded steps. Thus, you will make sure that the people you accompaign will reach their goal, and they won't drift off.

In order to plan and prepare innovation workshops in a serious way, use the tool

A good planning consists of at least these items:

You can find a detailed introduction to this topic in this Web-Based Training:


→ Web Based Training

This link will start chapter 3, 'Developing innovation workshops and managing them in a target-oriented manner' in the Web-Based Training 'Create'.


Conscious planning and preparation helps to ensure that the people you are supporting during a project are able to reach their goal, and not deviate or get lost along the way.


Use the tools to plan, prepare and execute Innovation Workshops.

Planning includes:

  • Provision of a specific workshop goal for you, the moderator
  • Dividing the goal into functional substeps
  • Selecting methods that suit the substeps
  • Determining what materials are needed
  • Using becreate to generate your workshop plan as a PDF

Phases of an Innovation Workshop

1. Challenge and Uploading

Challenge: At the beginning of each workshop, make sure that your participants have fully understood the task or the question. Let people ask questions. Do you find some unnoted limits, helpful or limiting ones?

Uploading: This is equally important to the challenge. Be careful that your workshop participants may free themselves enough from old knowledge and prejudice, that would lock the creativity process. On the other hand, your participants should become aware of theirs rich skills, competences and successful experiences so far. Maybe it's best to put all these aspects on a flipchart paper and to place it openly in the room. It may so be read and augmented every time, at the latest at the turnaround point.

2. Inspiration and Intuition

In this early phase, the participants should act freely based on intuition. Let them get stimulated and attuned to the creativity. As for many people this is not so easy, it is vital to create a friendly and open atmosphere. You may want to choose methods that provoke a high speed flow of statements and ideas.

3. Cognitive Assiciation of Ideas

In this phase, the participants should shape first ideas based not only on intuition, but on cognitive association. So the mental work makes some practical sense and is more complex that the collections of phase 2.

4. Turnaround Point

This is an important moment in your innovation process. Be well aware that from now on, all activities should close what have been opened. From now on, you and your participants must reduce the amount of ideas. It's time to check the poster from the Upload phase. What aspects are useful in that they help to close the process?

5. Combination of Ideas

After you and your participants have agreed to close the process slowly, you may want to offer methods that help closing and reducing. Closing and reducing means to combine ideas to lesser and denser constructs, to link them, and to drive them to concrete applications and solutions. 

6. Selection and Assessment

The combinations emerging from the fifth phase are now to be selected, assessed and formed into suitable solution approaches.

7. Outcome and Evaluation

Under your guidance, the findings of the workshop are finally reflected and prepared for continuing development after the workshop is over. Also, the innovation process itself is reflected and possible optimizations become clear. It often happens that the chosen results and solutions trigger a fresh process of divergence and convergence later.