A good idea can make or break a business. But good ideas aren’t only castles in the sky, they’re actionable insights. The very best ones are actionable insights that you can defend like nobody else in the marketplace.
The Ideation Process
Idea generation is the process of generating, communicating and developing new ideas. Contrary to popular beliefs its a very hard process. For example coming up with the idea for the iPod took Steve Jobs several years. These ideas are refined over and over and take quite a bit of time to be created and developed.
How to Come Up with Great Ideas
You need a pivot. Something that won’t change after your idea becomes a reality, then you iterate on possibilities. For Apple, the pivot is usually the customer experience. For startups, ideas usually start in the pains of a big market. The key is to find a pivot and iterate from there. After you’ve chosen a pivot your best bet is to pick a collaborative procedure and start making inventory of the best ideas. Finally, you’ll rank the ideas according to their feasibility. You can repeat this process several times to come up with a good number of ideas.
New Ideas and Design Thinking
Design thinking is a structured protocol for coming up with elegant solutions to hard business problems. A structured creative process such as Design thinking can improve your team’s dialogue and help you come up with better ideas faster.
Although Design is most often used to describe an object or end result, Design in its most effective form is a process, an action, a verb not a noun. A protocol for solving problems and discovering new opportunities.
Ideas Matter, Now More than Ever
Your logo, the headlines of each article, the copy of a tweet or blog. Every single idea matters. If you’re coming up with a new business idea or product, I suggest you turn to a structured idea generation process to maximize the quality of your ideas. Gradually, these structured ideation processes should permeate all of your creative endeavors.
Edison’s approach was an early example of what is now called “design thinking”—a methodology that imbues the full spectrum of innovation activities with a human-centered design ethos. By this I mean that innovation is powered by a thorough understanding, through direct observation, of what people want and need in their lives and what they like or dislike about the way particular products are made, packaged, marketed, sold, and supported. – Harvard Business Review.