An effective way to bring creativity forward is through idea generation and creativity techniques. These techniques or ‘tools’ enable us to better unlock our creative potential and bring to reality greater ideas. First, we can look at the creative process as a whole. There are four key areas that compose this process. Firstly, there is recognition. This is where one acknowledges that there are issues to be solved and gains knowledge on this area. Then there is the incubation process. This is where the idea is left to brew within the mind. Although it may initially seem that the ideas are being put to rest, what actually occurs within this step is that ideas form more developed and we then have clearer solutions to the issues. Penultimately, the stage of insight allows us to reach the point of idea fruition where the perfect idea and solution have been found to cope with the problem. Finally, the idea must be refined and put into practice. After this complete process, an idea is ready to be implemented.
Ideas can be created using techniques which provoke the brain into thinking in different ways. One technique is brainstorming; this is where an issue can be taken and as many ideas as possible are written towards that problem. Every idea is to be considered and this is why it is important to never disregard certain thoughts. Allow all ideas to break out no matter the level of obscurity. This method helps to give a wide range of thoughts which can then be whittled into the more likely candidates. This benefits the user when initially looking into issues but has it’s shortcomings when reaching more into one specific idea. Another tool which can spark creativity is the provocation idea generation tool. This is where incredibly abstract ideas are brought forward by an individual in order to spark creativity. ‘The more challenging idea production techniques such as Provocation, where the participants are presented with hypothetical situations which directly contradict their perception of reality.’ ( Horton, G 2006) this shows further how provocation enables one to think outside of rational thoughts and go to extremes with their ideas. Although this initially seems wasteful, this encouragement for wild creativity then allows the user to bring along more realistic and successful ideas from a place outside the normal realm of thinking. There is then Scamper. Scamper is a set of processes that can be applied to issues to create new ideas. For example we can take the S from scamper; substitute. This is where we take an element from a product or idea and change it for another such as changing the materials within a product to feed the needs of consumers more. Another example of scamper is the E known as eliminate. This is where lacking areas of a product are taken away in order to benefit the product. A good example of this is the wireless phone taking away the need for cables when communicating has revolutionised the way in which we work as a whole.
As a whole, some idea generation tools can work better for people than others but using a combination ensures that our creativity potential is unlocked.