Jeremy Utley: Ideaflow
Jeremy Utley is the Director of Executive Education at the Stanford d.school, and an Adjunct Professor at Stanford’s School of Engineering, where he has earned multiple favorite professor distinctions from graduate programs. He co-teaches two celebrated courses, Leading Disruptive Innovation (d.leadership) and LaunchPad, which focus on creating real-world impact with the tools of design & innovation.
He is also on the teaching teams of d.org, an organizational design course, and Transformative Design, a course that turns the tools of design onto graduate students’ lives. One of the most prodigious collaborators at the d.school, Jeremy has taught alongside the likes of Lecrae, Dan Ariely, Laszlo Bock, and Greg McKeown. He is the author along with Perry Klebahn of Ideaflow: The Only Business Metric That Matters.
Brainstorming sessions often emerge to address a problem requiring new ideas or innovation. However, the way many of us approach brainstorming vastly limits what’s possible for our teams and organizations. In this conversation, Jeremy and I discuss where leaders go wrong and some of the most helpful mindsets and tactics to do better.
- We tend to like cognitive closure. That often stops us from moving forward more substantially during brainstorming.
- The Idea Ratio shows that 2000 ideas are needed for every one idea that goes to market. Most teams and organizations vastly underestimate this.
- Set the expectation that brainstorming is a process, not a single event. That will help you surface vastly more useful ideas.
- Gather initial suggestions before a session to avoid favoring extroverts and early anchoring on what’s said initially. A useful way to make this is ask the language, “How might we…?”
- Warm-up exercises can substantially help put team members in the right mindset for creativity, especially for those with busy schedules moving between contexts.
- Ideaflow: The Only Business Metric That Matters by Jeremy Utley and Perry Klebahn
- Jeremy Utley's website
Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required).
- How to Be Present, with Dan O’Connor (episode 399)
- The Way to Nurture New Ideas, with Safi Bahcall (episode 418)
- How to Build an Invincible Company, with Alex Osterwalder (episode 470)