Do you have something you’d like to launch but you aren’t sure if there’s an appetite for it or whether the details of your offerings are quite right?

Ask your audience.

It seems basic, but too often we behave as if we need to have all the answers when in fact, we have but one opinion and are often not representative of our own target market anyway.

Consumer goods companies do market research. Software companies launch beta versions. Television stations run pilots. What is the equivalent in your world?

Collaborative planning reduces blind spots and increases buy-in. Do you have a project (or policy or product or…) that could benefit from more diverse perspectives and a more widespread sense of allegiance? Consider inviting others to build it with you.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

This approach is useful for big and small initiatives. It can be formal or casual. In a webinar, picture the experience of being told about online etiquette vs. being invited to co-create a list of ways of working for yourselves. In your city, imagine how residents are likely to respond to a presentation about a new park layout compared to their level of engagement when invited to design its features with the planning team. New programs or services don’t have to be much different. I’m trying it with a new package that will launch in September to support Executive Directors of non-profits — my confidence in the relevance of these group coaching sessions is far higher since I’ve chatted with a handful of EDs about what they’d like to see included.

If you are prone to the creative process being a solo endeavour, or at least one that stays internal to your team, consider stepping out to ask a wider circle of users what they’d like to see. Your idea will get stronger and so will your audience’s enthusiasm for it.

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