Facilitated Ideation vs Company Brainstorm? What’s the difference?

You’ve probably heard of the terms “facilitated ideation” and “company brainstorming,” but what’s the difference?

Product development projects are essential to any business and require time, effort, and resources. First, however, you need to consider how you’ll generate new ideas to get the most out of these efforts and produce a successful product that will generate revenue for your company.

This article will explore the differences between two standard methods used to generate new ideas – Facilitated Ideation and Company Brainstorming.

We’ll look at the differences in the process and outcomes of both methods and when each is best used. We’ll also look at the benefits of using each method (when appropriate).

What is Facilitated Ideation, and how does it work?

Facilitated Ideation is a process where a facilitator helps a group generate new ideas. The facilitator’s job is to help the group stay on track, keep the conversation flowing, and ensure everyone has a chance to contribute.

The facilitator is not a dictator – they are there to help the group generate ideas, not to tell them what to do. This makes Facilitated Ideation an excellent option for groups needing help independently developing new concepts.

Facilitated Ideation can be used in various settings, from large groups to small teams. In addition, you can use it to generate ideas for new products, services, or business models.

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What is Company Brainstorming, and how does it work?

Company Brainstorming is a process where a group of people (usually employees) get together to generate new ideas. The goal is to develop as many new ideas as possible quickly.

You can use Company Brainstorming for various purposes, including generating ideas for new products, services, or business models. You can also use it to develop ideas for improving current products or services.

How do Facilitated Ideation and Company Brainstorming compare?

There are a few critical differences between Facilitated Ideation and Company Brainstorming:

Facilitated IdeationCompany Brainstorming
PurposeThe purpose of Facilitated Ideation is to help a group come up with new ideas. The facilitator helps to keep the group on track and makes sure that everyone has a chance to contribute.The purpose of Company Brainstorming is to help a group of people come up with ideas for a company. This process can be used for new products, services, or marketing campaigns.
MethodFacilitated ideation is a structured process that involves a facilitator guiding the group through a series of steps to generate ideas. This process is typically more focused and goal-oriented than brainstorming.On the other hand, brainstorming is a more informal and unstructured process. It typically involves a group of people sitting together and freely sharing ideas without specific goals or directions.
EnvironmentA non-threatening environment for idea sharing that encourages participation from all members of the group.
Distractions are eliminated, allowing for full focus on the task at hand.
A more free-flowing and unstructured approach to idea generation. This can be beneficial in some cases, as it allows for exploring more creative and unique ideas. However, it can also lead to a lack of direction and focus, making it difficult to generate high-quality ideas quickly.
DurationThe speed/time to complete Facilitated Ideation depends on the size of the group and the amount of time allocated for the session. Typically, it takes between 1 and 2 hours to complete the process.The speed/time to complete Company Brainstorming depends on the size of the group and the amount of time allocated for the session. Typically, it takes between 1 and 2 hours to complete the process.
ResourcesTypically requires more resources and a facilitator at minimum.
In facilitated ideation, the facilitator actively guides the group and ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute.
Limited resources are needed.
In brainstorming, the group is typically left to generate ideas independently without much guidance or direction.
OutcomeFacilitated ideation can produce more focused and relevant ideas because a specific goal or problem guides it.Brainstorming may produce a broader range of ideas, but they may not all be relevant to the problem.
EfficiencyFacilitated ideation can be more time-efficient because it is a structured process that is designed to produce results in a short amount of time.Brainstorming can be less efficient because it is an unstructured process with no specific goal or timeline.
Facilitated Ideation and Company Brainstorming Methods compared

When is Facilitated Ideation the best option?

Facilitated Ideation is the best option when

  • the group needs to focus on a specific topic or challenge
  • the group wants to use a structured approach to idea generation
  • the group needs to identify and evaluate potential solutions
  • the group needs guidance on how to generate creative and innovative ideas
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When is Company Brainstorming the best option?

Company Brainstorming is the best option when

  • When the group wants to tap into the collective knowledge and expertise of the team
  • When the group wants to encourage collaboration and open communication
  • When the group wants to create a relaxed and informal atmosphere for idea generation
  • When the group wants to foster a culture of innovation within the company.

Pros and Cons of both methods

Facilitated Ideation


  • It can help to generate a diverse range of ideas.
  • Allows for the structured and systematic exploration of ideas.
  • It can help eliminate bias and encourage participation from all group members.
  • It can be tailored to the specific needs and goals of the group.
  • It can help to facilitate collaboration and build team cohesion.


  • It can be more time-consuming and require more resources than company brainstorming.
  • The facilitator must have the skills and experience to guide the group effectively.
  • The outcome may not always be as creative or original as some ideas generated through company brainstorming.

Company Brainstorming


  • It can be more spontaneous and unstructured, allowing for the free flow of ideas
  • It can be more cost-effective and require fewer resources
  • It can be a quick and easy way to generate ideas in a short period of time.
  • It can be a fun and engaging way to get the creative juices flowing.


  • It may not be as structured or systematic as facilitated ideation, leading to a lack of direction or focus.
  • It may not encourage participation from all group members, leading to a lack of diversity in ideas.
  • It may not be as effective in eliminating bias or facilitating collaboration among team members.
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