Many companies use brainstorming as a creative technique: employees meet in a team to generate ideas. The most important rule is that there is a clear separation between idea generation and idea evaluation.
But the results of ideation sessions often do not meet expectations. Instead, only a few ideas seem convincing. Although the brainstorming session had a positive spirit, participants laughed and collected a lot of crazy ideas, most of these ideas prove to be useless afterwards.
Why is that? Brainstorming is a simple, but not a structured creative technique for ideation. “Feel free, and the ideas will flow.” This doesn’t always work. Brainstorming has established itself as a popular method for ideation sessions. However, it is not suitable for more complex questions like the development of disruptive innovation or digital business models. Complex ideas can be developed through methods such as co-creation and open innovation or through innovation challenges.
In order to develop high quality ideas in an ideation session, you need to identify hidden problems that others don’t see, approach these problems from different angles, seek inspiration, and really develop an idea in detail. Just like Thomas Edison did, who managed to develop high-quality ideas like on an assembly line. His credo: “A small invention every ten days, a big invention every six months.”