Ideakeep blog
Ideation process: go ahead towards Big Ideas
Idea Management is based on the ideation process. Ideation is the 3rd stage of Design Thinking. But, primary, ideation — is a creative process of generating new (good, please) ideas.

Not only individuals can ideate, but also firms and crowds (crowdsourcing ideation).

Do not be surprised when you tap "Ideation" in google and see "Facts about suicide" — the first usage of the word "ideation" was restricted to the psychiatry and suicide therapy.

Obviously, we will talk about the actual meaning of the Ideation.
Why include ideation in your innovation process?
  • ideas can generate more ideas
  • ideation is not only about crazy unreal ideas, but about solutions, you need to step out the obvious solutions and strength new one with your team
  • ideation process aims to ask the right questions
  • ideation process could be realized in team and crowd: use the creativity and strong points of each of your team member, or, if you will address to crowdsourcing, you will get inspiration and even simple solutions provided by your potential customers and people all over the world.
  • ideation with a team is the great possibility to ask "stupid" questions.
5 Methods for good team ideation

Once you've already use brainstorming and it didn't work?

Brainstorm and ideation — isn't a chaotic flow of all sorts of ideas and this method weren't created for fun. You need to prepare your team, prepare the room, prepare some materials (it depends on what ideation or brainstorming method you've chosen).

We have already mentioned on our Twitter that there are some barriers to mature ideas in the team: inconvenient and uncomfortable room, the unprepared team were among them. So, the results depend on you and your responsibility towards goals and process.

  1. Mind mapping
Tony Buzan developed "mind mapping" and discussed it in his book "Use your Head," published in 1972.

This is a graphical technique that shows connections between ideas. Nowadays you can use online tools and share worksheet with your colleagues.

Need mind mapping tools? Try TOP-10 mind mapping software by Capterra. We recommend using RealtimeBoard.

In IdeaKeep, we think to add this functionality to Slack, what do you think?

2. Worst possible idea

This method was introduced by Bryan W. Mattimore in his book "Idea Stormers: How to Lead and Inspire Creative Breakthroughs".

Have you ever face the "limit of good ideas", when all teammates sit and can't imagine more? So, try to ask them to imagine the worst solution of your problem. For example, How we do not answer a phone call from our customers? You will surprisingly get some insights.

3. The famous 6 hats

The first description of 6 hats method appeared in the book "Six Thinking Hats," published in 1985 by psychologist Edward de Bono.

Using this technique you should divide ideas into 6 categories. Each "Thinking Hat" is a different style of thinking:

  • White hat: you focus on available information
  • Red hat: you focus on emotions and intuition
  • Green hat: you focus on Ideas and can be creative as much as you want to.
  • Yellow hat: you focus on positive possibilities
  • Black hat: you focus on negative possibilities
  • Blue hat: Control and overview of the whole ideation process by someone in your team.
4. Redefine the opportunities

A simple and effective technique:

  • Write down your opportunity statement
  • Choose any 3 words in your opportunity statement
  • Create alternatives for these words using the 5Ws and H of your problem — who, what, when, where, why, and how, arranged by columns (3 columns with original word on the top).
  • Select one word randomly from each column and plug it into your original opportunity statement.

5. 30 Circle Warm-up

A simple technique, that can be used not only for ideation but in the morning to focus your colleagues. The right motivation and good mood are very important factors in productivity.

To be honest, I knew this method from primary school — this was a simple activity to develop children's creativity. How many variants could you imagine?
    Ideation should be structured but flexible, then you will be satisfied with the results.
    Stay focused, avoid bias and open your creativity door in your brain!
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