💡 How Now Wow | Toolbox #10

3 min readJun 29, 2021

The idea selector

During a brainstorming session, participants generally do not have too much difficulty in diverging and generating original ideas. But when it comes to converging, they often limit themselves to the most familiar ideas: complicated solutions to implement, difficult decisions to make, limited resources, etc.

The How Now Wow (or Originality-Difficulty Matrix) is a visual tool that forces participants to weigh each idea according to 2 parameters: originality and difficulty. To create an effective and innovative action plan, it is sometimes necessary to think outside the box.

🧠 Who: when a group or team needs to stimulate their creativity to solve a problem, develop new services or improve a process.
When: when encountering a problem or to help with decision making.
Duration: 45min
Objective: select original ideas that can be implemented effectively.

The course of the meeting

1️⃣ Idea generation 💡 (10min)

First, start with a creative phase where each participant will write their ideas on post-its.

2️⃣ Workshop presentation (5min)

The template is a 2x2 table. The ‘x’ axis represents Originality and the ‘y’ axis represents Difficulty.

Each cell is identified by a name and a color:

🔵 NOW: Originality — / Difficulty -
- Actions that will have little impact, are easy to implement and low risk.
- To fill existing gaps.
- To maintain your business during a downturn without making major changes.

🟡 HOW : Originality + / Difficulty +
- Innovative actions but require significant time, resources, or skills.
- Can be used for long-term objectives.
- Preferable if you have a real need for change over time.

🟢 WOW : Originality + / Difficulty -
- Innovative actions that can be executed relatively easily.
- Bring interesting results quickly.
- Try to form as many ideas as possible in this category.

⚪️ Originality — / Difficulty +
- Actions that bring unoriginal results but will require a lot of effort.
- The least interesting.

3️⃣ Pooling 🧠 (30 min)

First, merge similar ideas and remove duplicates or out-of-scope actions. Discuss each idea and make sure the entire team has a mutual understanding of what it entails.

Next, ask participants to vote for the ideas they feel are best suited and most important for implementation in the immediate future.

To vote, each participant will have 3 stickers of each color available 🔵 🟡 🟢.

At the end, count the number of stickers under each idea to categorize it.

💭 Before beginning this phase, it is important to explain to participants the concept of “difficulty.” Indeed, it is a rather subjective term that can vary from one individual to another. Specify criteria that will help visualize it better: development time, resource mobilization, etc.

Good reasons to use the Originality-Difficulty matrix 👍

  • Simple and easy to use.
  • Participants can push their limits and let their imagination run wild.
  • Helps to reflect and organize thoughts collaboratively.
  • Ensure feasibility of actions and determine when to implement them.

If you’re looking for a way to get your team fired up and get an action plan in place quickly, the Originality-Difficulty Matrix is the workshop for you! Brainstorm, prioritize ideas and organize actions collectively to make your project a success 🥇

Import the template in Yellow now

📦 Download the template

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