Definition – Idea generation is the creative process of generating new methods to solve problems and improve the product’s conditions or the company itself. It is undoubtedly based on factors like idea development, group discussions, choosing the best alternative, and finally, implementing the idea in real-world scenarios. The idea doesn’t need to be practical, and it can also be a mere thought.
While operating a business, a lot of many things affect the proper functioning of it. Proper planning, organizing, directing, and controlling are to be done to carry out the work effectively and efficiently. After all these, new ideas and effective brainstorming are to be done to earn much higher profits.
Hence, to figure out what is needed to be done?
How it is to be done, what ways will help in generating higher revenue is looked upon.
While sometimes people prefer to operate the business with the past strategies, or some believe business is the ever-changing and dynamic one, they make new plans, and ideas are added to enhance the potential.
Because ideas are innovations that can be done to change the potential from high to low, when a new idea or intelligence is added to a business, it can be seen that it has many effects on the business.
What is Idea Generation?
Idea generation is something that is done to overcome the challenges in the company or the business.
Ideas are generated based on creativity, and the need of the business is looked upon. It usually requires many people, their feedback, and their innovative ideas. Then the selection of the best of the ideas is then made.
The making of plans then takes place so that the shortlisted idea gets implemented. In this manner, a creative and fresh idea will be an edge over the competitors.
Why is Idea Generation important?
Ever wondered what the key to innovation is. The very key to innovation is Ideas. New ideas help in improving the present situations as per the future needs or requirements.
These ideas also provide an insight into possible solutions, might provide a solution to a problem leading to new opportunities. And it is done by a group of managers, entrepreneurs, or businesspersons.
Sources of Idea Generation
A good idea can come from anywhere and at any time. An idea generation source refers to the people or places from where the idea was inspired. It can be affected by both external, as well as internal sources. The R&D department or the analytics employees are a part of the internal sources.
On the other hand, external sources combine to form suppliers, focus groups, educational institutions, distribution channels, customers, government, and competitors.
Idea generation steps
The idea generation is not compiled in a single approach; instead, it is continuous innovation and improvement. Companies have recognized the importance of idea generation and are supporting their employees for the same.
This procedure usually begins with a proper understanding of the job that you are going to execute. The aim is to generate questions that will act as fuel to your motivation. Secondly, propose suitable solutions for them. In the end, choose the most effective alternative, followed by its proper implementation.
Thomas Alva Edison developed a systematic method of idea generation that includes a series of effective steps. This made the idea generation process more convenient to apply and get the desired results out of them. This proved to be a game-changer in the market practices.
Thomas Edison put forward the following steps:
- Enabling: The search for the right field of innovation
- Defining: Develop search queries and specify search paths
- Inspiring: Search for thoughts and stimuli from other areas
- Selecting: Generate and evaluate ideas
- Optimizing: From the initial idea to the mature concept
- Nurturing: Enrich ideas with various implementation strategies
Several online tools similar to Innolytics® Innovation are used to enhance the systematic idea generation process. Various solo stages are defined so that the ideas are properly channelized. The ideas can change an ongoing trend and create a better strategy to generate innovative concepts for everyone.
Idea Generation Techniques
According to Thomas Alva Edison, he suggested some of the steps for ideas generation, which were, firstly, enabling the search in the right field. Secondly, defining in which each query is looked upon.
Thirdly, inspiration includes searching for thoughts. Fourthly, select the generated ideas. Fifth, optimizing the idea and providing it the direction. Six, nurturing the ideas with the implementation of strategies. While some more idea generation steps can be:
1. The 5W+H Method
An ideal generated idea is the one which must answer, Who, What, Where, Why, When and How., which is the method of 5W and H. These were the parameters, on which, if the ideas are generated, might result in a great solution which on implementation might prove to be the best one.
2. Social Listing
A problem arises when more of the competitors are into the same product line as yours. So, to reduce the communication gap, this social listing is done. It can be done by-polls on social media sites such as Reddit, Twitter, etc.
The customers’ reactions are taken, and through this reaction, ideas are being formatted so that the customers feel attracted towards the product and our product turns out to collect huge revenues.
It is prevalent as well as a popular tactic followed by every business. All the suggestions from the overall group of people are considered; may it be right, may it be wrong. All that matters here is the idea.
A very quick session on brainstorming and filtering the final idea is done before the execution step.
Working in the same office or with the same colleges, some people might feel bored. As a result of this, all the business persons need to do is switch places, then trying to ask for ideas will help.
Trying to embrace their view does not guarantee immediate results but would act to be the best one in the long run. Because it acts as a motivation for colleges and sometimes might lead to great results. This might turn out to give incredibly new and unique ideas that can be generated.
5. Mind Mapping
Mind mapping can turn out to be another successful method in generating ideas. It can be done by diagrammatically representing the task of the concept.
A non-linear graphical layout can represent it. Or it can be said that brain-mapping is a screenplay in which one central character that has a leading role is placed between the map, while the elements that link to it must be centered around the movie.
6. Think In Reverse
This being a very popular method or idea-generating step will help in the long run. But how can this one be possible? Sometimes, if we know what is not to be done, we can get to know where the mistake has taken place if we try thinking this way.
If we aim to think about every possible mistake to reach the desired goal, thinking in advance will help. In the end, making the idea an all-rounder hit.
7. Idea Capture
Some people might have the same opinion, and their ideas might clash, about any problem in the same manner at the same time. Hence, to avoid the same situation, Idea Drop software can be used, such as similar ideas strike off.
8. Questioning Assumptions
In the industry, many times, the work is confined to get all the things done. Hence, this might lead to untapped opportunities and questions, leading to a barrier to generating ideas.
Thus to avoid the same situation, a creative challenge must be designed, from this collection of feedback and assumptions might be done. Now looking for that idea or assumption that can be utilized for the present problem must be chosen.
As the name suggests, two or more people work together to achieve a particular goal. This method is again the most popular one. Many people join their hands for a particular project or so; this is done because a team always has more ideas and innovations than one business person.
10. The Story Boarding Method
It is a method in which the ideas or the concepts are placed to look like that of a cartoon strip. Then a story is being developed from it. Ideas are being taken from every colleague, and then a sticky note is then being passed on aboard.
This makes a story. In this manner, the ideas interact, and a connection is established in them.
11. Sketching as a Group
As we know, if something is drawn as a picture or sketch, our sensors of the brain start acting, and the sketch which has been visualized by the eyes remains in the memory for a longer time as compared to the discussions being made.
Thus if a rough sketch of ideas is made on the whiteboard or so, it could be easier for others to understand, and if they have innovative ideas, they can come up with them.
12. Forced relationship
in this technique or step, all the ideas are combined, leading to the production or invention of a completely new idea.
13. Visualization and visual prompts
It is the visualization of the issues that are being first overlooked, and in the subconscious mind, the ideas are functioning for the problem that is being occurred.
It is the illumination in which the person thinks of the problems related to the ideas and pen them down on paper. This visualizes the actual problem, the real solution is then looked upon, and the ideas are crafted in that particular style.
14. Use online Tools
Ideas can too be identified across the multidimensional internet. Ideas are available here in great abundance. One of these platforms can be Evernote, which provides solutions that are well-formatted and helpful. And this allows one to write thoughts instantly.
scamper stands for the acronym in which each letter stands for action verbs. Let us check:
P- Put to another use
With this research technique’s help, it can now be possible to describe and teach the process and churn out more innovative ideas.
It can help in triggering the most innovative ideas. In this technique, a scenario is created to establish an emotional connection between the goal and the task.
It is a thought process in which creativity and resources are combined so that a new and innovative solution to the present problem can be figured out effectively.
18. Accidental Genius
It is a very new and innovative technique, which focuses on triggering the participant’s best ideas, which will help improve the business’s position.
Idea Generation Examples
Ideas are sprinkled all over. Ever wondered how big companies have become successful? Eventually, all of them rise from a simple idea.
For instance, the idea of Airbnb emerged when two designers had spare space and hosted travelers. In the case of Uber, two entrepreneurs were trying to figure out methods to make transportation cost more generous.
Idea Generation Activities
Several activities play a vital role in the idea generation process.
The activities can be further divided into two main categories, External and Internal. In internal activities, several platforms are available both offline and online to have a healthy discussion.
Conducting workshops and informative sessions can enhance knowledge about the idea. Hence, resulting in the development of the most effective idea.
On the other hand, participating in doing courses, conducting competitions, and events come under external activities. These have their perks as it helps to compare our idea with the ideas created by others around us.
Idea Generation Workshops
Workshops are known to conduct discussions and promote activities on a given topic similar to public speaking, watercolor painting, and many more.
So, as we talk about workshops related to idea generation, the activities included in them will have our mind think about a better version of the solution or idea.
These workshops will give a proper path to the idea generation process. Moreover, a lot of MNCs have initiated these programs for their clients and employees. Some of the examples are Mti-2, Lighthouse, and edge+.
Here is a video by Marketing91 on Idea Generation.
Idea Generation in Entrepreneurship
Entrepreneurship has always been considered as running a business developed by a single person. Idea generation is the most important aspect of Entrepreneurship.
The suggested solution should directly focus on solving a major problem. It should be not unique but also feasible enough to be implemented.
For instance, many people feel it difficult to understand legal jargon and other proceedings in a court. Hence, your idea should be based on developing a platform that can convert the complex jurisdiction rules into a simpler language.
Idea Generation in Product Development
Product development can’t function without a proper idea generation process.
You must establish some organizations that can look for suitable products for a particular reason. Similar to an idea, look for feasible products that can fit in the conditions.
It includes performing market research along with the SWOT analysis. The idea should be properly initiated and provide you a headstart in the market compared to the competitors. For example, self-sanitizing door handles can be worth a lot.
The unique idea and the development will be in high demand, especially because the people are getting aware of the benefits of a healthy surrounding, because of the current shift towards a healthy lifestyle.
Idea Generation Tools
Tools and technologies have made our lives much simpler as compared to the old times. We can even use several tools to generate an idea for us.
For example, portals like Freeplane, Stormboard, Pinterest, Idea Generator, Mindomo, Mindmeister. Mindmeister helps you create mind maps; Stormboard includes features like whiteboards, sticky notes, and others that make brainstorming a child’s play.
Thus, these tools can bring a lot of improvement in idea generation in every sector.
One needs to be ever-creative to earn higher and higher profits in this ever-changing business world, where each day might prove to be dynamic. Hence, the points mentioned above on the generation of ideas can be a legit way to increase the business and explore new opportunities.
In comparison, some might not prove to be beneficial. But each of them must be implemented to be on the safer side.
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