Strategy & Innovation - How Many People Should Participate

At a Charlotte Business Marketing Association presentation on “Taking the NO Out of Business InNOvation,” a question was raised about the right number of people to have in facilitated innovation and strategy sessions.

That’s a common business question, and there are certainly optimum sizes for facilitating innovation and strategy groups. What’s optimum varies based on the business objective and the complexity of the strategy or innovation effort needed. My response was the much more important success factor is the group’s composition based on experience, personalities, and mindset. For the best strategic thinking, The Brainzooming Group always wants to have three groups represented when we facilitate an innovation session:
  • People with solid, front-line business experience to help frame business strategy issues.
  • Others with functional knowledge applicable to the strategy or innovation topic to provide an understanding of capabilities.
  • Creative instigators who can act as innovation catalysts by viewing business situations in new & unconventional ways.

Using The Brainzooming Group framework, we’ve done very successful multi-person strategic thinking sessions with two people who filled multiple roles. Often, it takes 3 to 8 people per group to have enough depth in each of the three areas.

Tomorrow’s post will highlight the business challenges of overloading an innovation session with too much creativity. Trust me, it doesn’t lead to the best, most implementable business ideas.  – Mike Brown

The Brainzooming Group helps make smart organizations more successful by rapidly expanding their strategic options and creating innovative plans they can efficiently implement. Email us at or call us at 816-509-5320 to learn how we can deliver these benefits for you.

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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