Idea Generation – Five suggestions to generate better ideas
Successful idea generation leads to ingenious ideas. Successful business innovation, continuous improvement and idea management are inconceivable without the right ideas. But how does idea generation work best? You’ll find out in this article. Five suggestions for a more effective idea generation process.
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Suggestion 1: Prepare idea generation through inspiration!
Ingenious ideas are often a combination of things that already exist. Materials are combined in a new way, technologies are used in an innovative manner, digital business models are transferred from one area to another. Even the ingenious inventor Thomas Edison described himself as a “sponge of ideas” who eagerly absorbed everything before he started generating ideas.
Suggestion 2: Generate a new idea every day
The most successful creative minds have integrated idea generation into their daily routine. Ingenious minds are often characterized by their tremendous productivity. Thomas Edison, for example, not only invented the light bulb and the first electric light network, but also obtained a total of 1,093 patents in areas such as telegraphy, sound recording and the beginnings of the film industry. He even built an electric car and an electric train. Mozart wrote 626 compositions, consuming about 8 kilometres of music paper. Pablo Picasso’s work is estimated at 50,000 paintings, drawings, graphics, collages, sculptures and ceramics.
Suggestion 3: Be proud of your poor ideas
In idea generation there is a simple principle: Only by generating bad ideas it’s possible to learn what does not work. Poor ideas serve to better understand the surroundings of ideas and the underlying parameters. Thomas Edison made it his habit to draw fifty different alternatives from each new construction, only one of which was ultimately successful. You could say he had forty-nine poor ideas. But he didn’t see it that way. Without poor ideas, there is no ingenuity.
Suggestion 4: When generating ideas, answer the following questions
When is an idea excellent? A very simple definition has prevailed in science: it must be new and useful. Describe why each of your ideas is new. New does not necessarily mean a novelty to the world, but in relation to a problem to be solved. So did Thomas Edison. His philosophy in generating ideas: An idea does not have to be new. It just has to be new in relation to the problem to be solved. Describe also the benefit of an idea concisely: The benefit for the target group (customers, your own company, partners of the company etc.). We recommend that you also add some sentences about the implementation: Think about how an idea can be successfully implemented at an early stage in the idea generation process.
Suggestion 5: “Kill your Darlings” – Establish an idea archive
If you develop an idea every day, you already have between twenty and thirty ideas after one month. After three months, it’s between sixty and ninety. Bring your ideas into a process: from discussion to initial evaluation and further elaboration to re-evaluation and implementation. The most important element is your idea archive! The right place for ideas with rather little potential for success. Clean up the idea archive regularly. This is the only way to avoid being paralyzed by the sheer number of your ideas.
Innolytics®: Software for idea generation and implementation of innovation
The Innolytics® software helps you to share and discuss inspirations in the early stages of idea generation. You can, for example, identify trends and evaluate them in terms of their relevance, analyze hidden customer needs and observe competitors. Innolytics® allows you to develop ideas and discuss them within your company. You can further develop your ideas into mature concepts, prioritize them through several evaluation stages and implement them with the help of a definable roadmap. With the help of the Innolytics® software, you can quickly and easily come up with better ideas.