Brainstorming, synonymous with creating and sharing new ideas is now obsolete. Why? Because of the development of the idealogue method. Traditional brainstorming methods have proven effective in generating and sharing ideas, but often times a person is most concerned with making sure that their ideas are being heard, and understood. Instead of focusing on others, they are focused on making others hear their own ideas, with the result being that they find it challenging to connect their ideas with others and to form a common understanding. Idealogue is a group level tool that not only helps people to understand ideas, but to also connect them to other ideas and to reach group consensus on what the best ideas are.

The idealogue method does not just stop at group consensus, ensuring that the best ideas are not only agreed upon, but also understood, and remembered after the meeting or session has ended. The idealogue method is a facilitative tool at heart, meaning that it is used by facilitators often, and it can help achieve some of the same outcomes that result from facilitation: better understanding, the use of everyone’s potential, organizational development, group alignment, and true commitment to strategic plans and company vision.

Forged from failure: The idealogue method was a collaborative effort that came from several facilitators working together to address challenges and shortcomings that they have experienced in various workshops.

Pepe Nummi, a Facilitator with over 15 years’ experience and one of the original founders of Grape People, an international facilitation company, first realized the need for the idealogue method after repeatedly experiencing the same challenges again and again when employing traditional brainstorming methods. The first reoccurring challenge Pepe faced was a lack of focus in the ideas produced by conventional brainstorming means. Hundreds of ideas could be thought of and shared, but these ideas are worthless if they are not understood by the whole group.

The second challenge Pepe saw again and again was a lack of listening to the ideas of others. Experience has shown Pepe time and time again that if someone thinks that they have a great idea, then their energy will be spent in sharing their own idea with others, and making sure that they are heard, with little energy spent on trying to understand what ideas and comments are being given to them.

Pepe was the one with a problem on how to facilitate good creativity sessions. But he did not create Idealogue, he stole all components of the method from his colleagues; particularly Pekka Leskelä and Dr. Greg O’Shea.

Through trial and error, the idealogue method slowly took shape, and as Pepe and others began to use this method, they found that it provided a solution to the problems mentioned above. This was the spark that eventually grew into the flame that is now the idealogue method.

The method Idealogue was first introduced at the conference of the International Association of Facilitators in 2003 in Slovenia. Later on, it was published in The Facilitator’s Handbook which he wrote in 2007. The method has since been used extensively by facilitators around the world.