Idea Generation and Creativity Techniques
Where do ideas come from?
First, what is idea Generation?
Idea Generation is the creation and development of ideas that are successfully communicated in an abstract, physical or visual way. To do that you need to go through the process of building through the idea (thinking over it), innovating it and then developing the process, to bring it to reality.
So, where do ideas come from?
It’s all about the opportunities. Opportunities are the source of idea generation. What is opportunities you ask; opportunities can be what its possible and available in the market. Something is missing from the market; can we make it happen = opportunity. All this brings innovation and that can be, market innovation, product innovation and process innovation.
In everyday life
A lot of times, ideas will come from personal satisfaction and dissatisfaction, that can be from a service or product that you liked and you think you can make it better or the complete opposite, you didn’t like it and you think you can fix it. Ideas can also come from your hobbies. You, like doing something for fun, you can take it to another level and make something out of it. Maybe, something that you saw on the news made you come up with something.
Really, ideas can come from anywhere, but it’s not that EUREKA moment that all of us will like to have. It’s more about the environment you are in. Think about it. Some of the greatest ideas came from, not one’s head, but two or more and that’s because one head had one piece of the idea and the other head had the other piece (the two ideas don’t need to be about the same thing, it’s more about the individuals). Then, when they met they’ve put those two pieces together and they made something greater. Two or more heads are better than one. That’s why communication is important and really in our days, that’s how ideas are mostly created. Before the internet people will meet in social places to discuss about stories and ideas, now we have the power of the internet, which again does the same job, but this time it can connect you with someone that is completely different from you and on another part of the world.
Where ideas come from depends from your surroundings, and how they are developed depends also from the people around you.
So now that we know where ideas come from, how can we do it ourselves?
There are some creativity techniques that can help. Here are two of these techniques:
Brainstorming, something you probably heard. How do you do it? You generate as many ideas/solutions/ problems as possible. The ideas can be crazy and your ideas can be also a part of the idea of someone else. You should NOT analyse them or overthink them.
You can use SCAMPER. It means, substitute (e.g. components, materials, people), combine (e.g. mix, combine with other products or services), adapt (alter, change function), magnify/modify (make it smaller or bigger, change the shape, modify it), put to other uses, eliminate (remove parts, make simple), rearrange and reverse (turn it inside out or upside down). SCAMPER technique uses a set of directed questions to solve a problem or find an opportunity. Its created by Bob Eberle to represent a set of idea-triggering questions. Some of these questions were created by Alex Osborne. Fun fact, he created brainstorming.
It will be more effective when you are in a group of people than on your own.
- (2011) Effectual Entrepreneurship, Routledge, Oxon