The COCD Box is an idea selection tool helping to find out the most promising ideas after an idea generation session. You can use this tool in many different situations: from a small to a large number of ideas, in a group or on your own.
This box was developed by the COCD (Center for Development of Creative Thinking), a belgian organization specialized in creativity since 1977. The COCD Box is inspired by Mark Raison’s work on idea generation and selection
The COCD-box helps you to select the most promising ideas from a brainstorm with less restraints from the feasibility. The Box has two axes: the originality of the idea and its ease of implementation. Original but not (yet) feasible are placed in the yellow square, original and feasible are placed in the red square, the feasible and already known ideas should be placed in the blue square.
Ideally participants should be encouraged to think about unfeasible ideas connected to their dreams or future possibilities in the idea generation taking place before the selection process. This allows new “out of the box” ideas to blossom.
The starting point is to collect ideas during an idea generation exercice. The COCD Box is great especially when you have more than 40 ideas to select from. You can place all the ideas around the COCD Box on TUZZit. At this stage, the group shouldn’t have decided whether or not an idea is yellow, blue or red. Thus, it’s less confusing to add grey sticky notes instead of using the colored ones.
In order to point out the most interesting ideas, every participant can select 4 to 8 blue, red and yellow ideas out of all the ones listed. In real life it can be done with coloured stickers. On TUZZit, participants can just drag and drop yellow, blue and red sticky notes on the ideas and write down the number of votes each idea gets.
After all votes have been attributed, pick the 10-15 most popular ideas and place them in the COCD Box. Ideas can first be moved to the sections for which they received the most votes, but participants should then discuss where each idea belongs. This will allow everyone to explain why, in their opinion, some ideas are more feasible than others. At the end, there should be a better consensus on where the ideas are located in the Box.
Once the ideas have been selected and have been placed at the right location on the COCD Box, the participants can try to combine ideas and to dig deeper into some interesting concepts. The COCD developed the Idea Blueprint (link) in order to do that. We’ve also added this tool to the canvas library.