Better meetings for creativity and innovation

In-person or online • Ben Crothers Ben Crothers

Learn how to lead better brainstorming meetings that generate more creative ideas, and remove obstacles to innovation.


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The cure for the common brainstorming meeting

  • Are you not getting the quality of ideas you want?
  • Is it hard to get stakeholders to agree on what to focus on or what ideas to carry forward?
  • Are time and performance pressures limiting your creativity?
  • Are too many opinions making it hard to decide what is best?

This class will equip you to:

  • Run more effective discovery and innovation meetings, such as discovery workshops, design sprints, policy workshops, and brainstorming meetings.
  • Set up innovation for success with techniques to get the right people in the room, and to set accurate expectations.
  • Tackle tricky situations that can happen in discovery and innovation meetings.
  • Help your groups develop their own creative skills, with a variety of templates and activities.

Unlock your team’s genius

This class is great for anyone who wants to amp up their toolkit with more methods for discovering new ideas.

This class is great for:

  • Managers who want to demonstrate collaborative leadership
  • Project managers and program managers who need to help get teams un-stuck, and to come away thinking every meeting was a great use of time
  • Facilitators who want to add to their toolkit
  • Change managers who have to help teams tackle large tricky programs of work
  • Scrum masters, agile coaches and agile practitioners who want to improve their teams' ways of working

Serious value for serious leaders

You’re investing in your success as an innovation leader. We take that investment seriously, by packing serious value into this class.

This class gives you access to:

  • 2-3 hours of real-time interactive instruction with Ben Crothers, a skilled veteran of over 15 years of facilitation, training and strategy
  • Your questions answered throughout the class time
  • PDF templates to use with your team after the class
  • An ongoing community of changemakers on the Bright Pilots Slack channel

Class outline

Here’s what you can expect from the live online class.

1. Introductions and expectations

Introducing your instructor; expectations from attendees and expectations of involvement; class content overview.

2. What is discovery and innovation, anyway?

Understanding how discovery and innovation can help any organisation.

3. The right ingredients for innovation

Setting you and your team up for success by understanding the barriers, and how to tackle them; selling in better innovation activities.

4. Structuring innovation in meetings

Making it happen by design, not by default, using specific kinds of meetings.

5. Amping up your group's creativity

Understanding and using different activities for different kinds of divergent thinking; knowing when to go broad to generate lots of ideas and options, and when to prioritise and make choices.

Small group activity: Spam can

6. Keeping biases at bay

Tips on anticipating and dealing with biases that happen in divergent and convergent thinking in groups, as well as how to handle that 'groan zone' in between.

7. Wrapping up

Recapping the main points in the class, final Q&A, as well as some next steps and resources.


I’ve completed two Bright Pilots classes in the past 3 months and both were excellent. Ben is engaging and shares some great ideas on the topic. The training is interactive and the content is good.

Martine Pekka

A great class that covered all the ins and outs of the journey through discovery and innovation. The Spam can game was a definite highlight in getting those creative juices flowing!

Business Partner - ICT & Business Services

Loved this class, even for an experienced facilitator it was great to learn from Ben who clearly has a few tricks up his sleeve!

Freya Elliott, Customer Experience Specialist

Robyn, Nxtstep2

A must for anyone who wants to become an expert in defining problems and leading teams to be more focussed on outcomes than activities.

Rachael Scott

More examples/stories, those were some of the most rich part of the discussion but they only came up when questions were asked

Ray Kearney

Great content, brilliantly delivered and a very welcome interactive learning experience.

Anthony Kirkham

Your instructor: Ben Crothers

Ben is currently Principal Facilitator at Bright Pilots, and spends a lot of his time teaching design techniques, running strategic workshops, and helping teams be more creative and to focus on the right things.

About us

Ben Crothers

We’ve boosted capacity in loads of teams...

Here are some organisations that Bright Pilots has been privileged to run training sessions and masterclasses for:

Client logos of EY, Target and EbayClient logos of Commonwealth Bank and ZipClient logos of Atlassian, ABC and LIDAClient logos of iCare and OrofolClient logos of Nine Network and Aurora EnergyClient logos of Canva, City University of New York and CSIROClient logos of The Benevolent Society and Telstra

Book a call

Got questions? Here are some answers

We conduct these classes either in-person or online, according to what your requirements are. We are based in Sydney (Australia) so in-person is great, but there are many reasons why we conduct classes online via Zoom too. for example, clients sometimes want to include people from several offices, so we make it online.
Each training class typically runs for 3 hours. If it takes place online, we ensure we schedule 2 quick breaks throughout the 3 hours, to keep everybody fresh.
We try to limit each class to 10 people, to ensure everyone gets enough interaction and opportunity to discuss and ask questions. If you have more than 10 people to train, we suggest booking several separate sessions.

No, training attendees don’t have to all work together. Each class is geared to cover several specific learning outcomes common to anyone and everyone attending. Often classes include time for each attendee to work on their own example individually.

However, we can always tailor team training classes to include time for attendees to work together on common challenges.

Yes, we can and do bundle several training classes together. We can also tailor sets of classes to cover your specific learning outcomes or staff development goals.

For online classes, we use the videoconferencing platform Zoom, which you can use via your web browser, or download here. Some clients prefer us to use MS Teams; this is also fune, provided you can invite us to your Team space.

We sometimes use other applications like Mentimeter, Mural or Miro, which you should be able to access and use via your web browser.

If you’re attending one of our drawing classes, you’ll need something to draw with, and something to draw on. We recommend a fine black marker (e.g. Artline200 Fineliner 0.4) or similar. For this sort of drawing, it’s best not to use Sharpies, as they are too thick, and they bleed through regular paper. For the paper, a blank sketchbook is great, but plain ol’ blank office paper is perfectly fine.

Drawing on a digital tablet is great too, and using other markers and pencils (e.g. tint markers like Tombow or Copic, and colour pencils) is also fab.

The only preparation you usually need to do is to complete a brief online pre-class questionnaire. We send out the link to all attendees a few days prior to the class. This questionnaire helps everyone to think more about what they’d like to get most out of the class, plus it helps us to know what to focus on.

We also encourage all attendees to think ahead about (and capture somewhere) how they think they’d like to apply what they learn from the class. For example, there might be specific types of meetings, or a specific project they are working on, where they would like to improve.

Be sure to read the class outline above, to give you a sense of the structure and content of this class. If you have any questions after reading this, we’re more than happy to help, and you can drop us a line.

We’re all about involving everyone in an engaging productive way in all our classes, so all classes are pretty interactive.

Our classes have a range of practical and conversational activities, ranging from simple icebreakers to individual hands-on exercises, to discussions in groups of 2, 3 or 4. There will also be time for Q&A throughout the class, and at the end as well.

Some classes’ activities also include using an online canvas (like Mural or Miro), which all class participants use together.

We take your decision to invest in your staff seriously, so we prefer to agree on – and invoice for – a minimum number of staff who are committed to attending the training class, and we charge per attendee.

We understand that sometimes things come up and plans need to change. If this is the case, you will receive a seat credit for anyone who accepted the invitation to the training, but didn’t attend. You can use this seat credit towards another class, and it’s valid for up to 12 months from the original class date.

You can cancel any registered attendees by name within 2 days of the scheduled class, and receive a full refund. If the invoice is already paid, we will arrange the refund to be paid back within 7 business days of submitting your cancellation request. To cancel, simply contact us here, or email

Yes, we do provide discounts to attendee numbers over 15. We also provide a discount for registered non-profit organisations at 25% off the regular per-seat attendee rate.

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