Recommended Idea Generation
Creativity is the ability to imagine or invent something new. We are all creative beings, but many of us have forgotten this habit due to an excess of rational thinking when solving problems.
Most creative people generate new ideas from the combination or modification of existing ideas, and, above all, they are aware that they can always improve ideas.
Below we will see some very useful idea generation techniques applicable to a myriad of contexts and situations, which can be put into practice both in groups and individually.
Idea generation techniques
There are a series of techniques for generating new ideas, such as:
- Extraction of ideas from other disciplines: Applying a new perspective on a different profession or discipline can stimulate discoveries.
- Think of opposites: Thinking in terms of simultaneous opposites turns the topic into a paradox that can help you find a useful analogy.
- Look for analogies: You probably have several areas of expertise that you underestimate. Apply the experience you have in a specific field to another diametrically different field.
- Focus on the absurd: Focusing on the absurd helps us discover new ideas. What do most people in your field think would be impossible? Is it that way? Or is it just complicated?
- Reframe the question: Often; we do not find an adequate solution to the questions we ask because they are formulated inappropriately. We need to find the right question, and only then can we try to find the answer. Rethinking a new way of asking generates new ideas that can make it possible to find the solution.
- Stop thinking, give yourself a break: When you stop occupying your mind every day, you make room for the new. Followers of the “mindfulness” type promote mindfulness as a source of increased creativity and innovation. This meditation technique can help you enormously, but also take a walk in nature. The key is to seek some peace of mind and a disconnect with your emotions.
Other more formal methods
If you are not clear about the idea on which you want to start a new process, prepare a creativity session with your team and invite other experts in the sector or potential consumers of the idea and who can contribute very valuable insight. Select one of the various commented ideation techniques and assess the results obtained. There are endless techniques and tools to stimulate group creativity, such as:
Brainstorming: It is a creativity technique that encourages generating ideas about a specific topic or problem.
Related worlds: It allows for discovering different approaches thanks to thinking about how the same problem would be solved in different sectors or worlds.
Future Memory: It helps to visualize the reality that you want to attract into your life. Organize your ideas and help you establish the first steps. It seems silly, but it works.
From the Impossible to the Possible (Impossible to Possible): Encourages the generation of ideas about a particular issue or problem by visualizing the situation from different perspectives, causes the emergence of new alternative solutions.
What if…? (Assumption Reversal): allows questioning the status quo (that is, the state of affairs at the moment) to get a new perspective on the problem or need.
Forced analogies to connect worlds and generate new ideas:
The Forced Analogies technique serves to consistently generate new ideas. It allows you to escape from the repeated ideas, change the coordinate axis, and generate new ideas that were not on the table. Forced analogies allow you to open your mind and make unexpected connections. This technique allows you to carry out a complete workshop to generate ideas by connecting different worlds.
The result will be a set of ideas that have to be evaluated and selected. The good idea is to combine individual work with teamwork to be more efficient and increase the number of ideas generated in the session. It is especially suitable for generating disruptive ideas or radical ideas.
This method invites you to discover other worlds; it allows you to develop habits to increase curiosity; usually the best ideas are found at the intersection of worlds, sectors, disciplines, etc.
SCAMPER, a creativity technique to generate many ideas:
SCAMPER is a very simple idea generation technique. The name is the acronym for (SCAMPER): Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Propose and for other uses, Delete, Reorder.
SCAMPER is a creativity technique that works especially well when improving an existing situation, service, or product. In the technique, seven key questions associated with each letter of the word SCAMPER are defined; each question invites us to think in different perspectives to create “eureka” moments and generate new ideas. This idea generation technique allows us to break through the usual limitations of thinking and awaken our creative thinking to produce a set of ideas from which to choose.
The objective is to find solutions to our challenge by forcing the mind to look in places where it does not seem possible to find ideas. The technique consists of choosing a word at random, entering it in Google, and displaying all the images resulting from the search. From here, we have to find eureka moments with some of the images, always forced. Finally, we record the ideas generated.
There may be words that do not lead us to any solution, but surely we find words that provide us with many ideas.
The “NO” method of identifying things that don’t work for people:
The “no” method is a tool that allows us to identify the main aspects that pose or can pose a problem or difficulty for people. The dynamic begins by defining the people who may have problems about the challenge posed, and then identifying the problems based on asking ourselves questions: what aspects are not easy? Why are things not fast? What features aren’t cheap? What aspects are not comfortable? Etc.
Applying this tool correctly observes how people behave and how they relate to each other in the scenarios where things happen. Behave like a spectator, take nothing for granted and feel free to go outside and observe the different situations for yourself.
The 5 KEY QUESTIONS key to analyzing any problem or creative challenge:
To respond to a problem through creativity, the first step is to analyze the problem from all possible perspectives; this helps us better understand the problem’s essence and brings us closer to its solution. When a problem is raised, avoid going to answer directly, use the key questions’ technique to analyze and understand it.
To start the game, the following situation is planted: Faced with a given problem or a proposed challenge, we can assume it as is and start generating ideas or asking ourselves questions such as: What? How? Why? For whom? How else? … And finally ask ourselves: How can we improve the situation?
The question is the most creative attitude; if we get used to asking ourselves questions, we will develop our curiosity and capacity for critical thinking. As long as we remain dissatisfied with simple answers, we will discover new opportunities. To see what others do not see, it will be necessary to broaden our perspective, ask ourselves different questions to identify what is happening.
Some tips to energize the idea-generation workshops and enhance creativity
Some tips to make idea generation techniques allow you to develop creativity, generate many ideas, and get participants to enjoy and feel that they have developed their creativity.
- Encourage attendees to generate as many ideas as possible, search as many as possible. Don’t let them get the first idea that comes to mind.
- Postpone rational thinking; you cannot value or criticize any idea and less the ideas of others. Nip at the root all criticism of others’ ideas; it is only allowed to add value and complement the ideas of others to improve them.
- Any idea that arises in the session must be registered; the unregistered ideas will disappear. It is necessary to combine the participation parts with moments to write or record the ideas.
- Format the ideas; record them on post-its so that you remember their essence. Propose a similar format to the participants; for example, every idea must have a title, a description of what it will consist of, and, very importantly, an explanation of how it will be carried out.
- Finally, group the ideas into similar concepts and select the best ones. Every creativity game ends with the selection of the best ideas. If necessary, define three endpoints and score ideas to generate a ranking.