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The Ideas Flower is a prioritization technique that takes a less analytical approach than a technique like max axes.


It’s a useful dialogic way to do prioritization with a small group, as it gives a structure to have a conversation about the most compelling ideas, and also what might be challenging about them.

Set Up: Groups of 1-6, large piece of butcher/flip chart paper or white board, pre-generated ideas on sticky notes, markers, 2 colours of sticky dots.

How It Works

  • The creative question goes in the centre of the white board or flip chart paper.

  • Each person in the group chooses one idea that is really interesting and compelling to them, and is not their own idea. They pull it off of the ideation wall, and make a “petal” beside the creative question in the centre.

  • The team then takes ~5 minutes to work these idea in layers out from the centre. The first layer is a short list of notes that describes how the idea works in a little bit of detail. The next layer out describes challenges or barriers associated with that idea. And the third layer out describes some potential offsets to each of the challenges.

  • One by one team members add about 6 idea petals around their creative question, creating a collection of compelling solutions to their creative question.

  • It can be helpful to then heat map (with sticky dots, ~3 per person) all of the elements of the ideas flower to see which parts have the most energy and interest. This results in a prioritized collection of possibilities to then bring into the next stage of your process.There are different things that can be heat mapped, depending on what the group is looking to uncover at that stage. Some possible questions are: “which ideas hold the most potential for impact and should be explored further”, “what is looking most feasible”, or “where do I see the most conflict or tension.”


More Info

  • Sue Biely, Nudge Consulting

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