The L’Oréal innovations team needed to shake things up. It was time to plan the year’s pipeline and yet another ideation session didn’t feel inspiring. Our job was to design and run an offsite around innovations thinking, and to wrap up with ideating for the year.

We designed a hackathon-style 3 day session. Day 1 focused on personal insight and team empathy, wrapping up with a show and tell session on ‘not tying ourselves to averages’. Day 2 focused on introducing fresh provocations for innovation thinking in our times. And Day 3 was about ideation towards drafting L’Oréal’s pipeline for innovation this year.

Needless to say, the offsite was a success because ideation was not its end-goal. The problem with ‘ideation sessions’, is that coming up with ideas starts feeling like an end in itself. Whereas it helps to refocus on self-awareness, empathy, mental blocks and fresh provocations to feel innovative instead. Having a party or two in between doesn’t hurt either!

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