Idea generation is the driving force behind pushing your business forward. But it doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes time and research to get your creative juices flowing and nail something down. One of the main issues is that ideas themselves come and go very quickly and if you don’t have something to write it down, or make a note on – they never seem to be as good the second time around. Unexpected moments of clarity and creativity are great, but it is more beneficial to plan in time to kick this off.
Before you dedicate a few hours to your ideas generation, make some notes about what it is you are looking for. Are you looking to take one of your own products and services and improve on it? Are you looking further afield and taking products and services that already exist and improving on those? Depending on the item, you can look in a few places. For product reviews, you can typically scout amazon, but for services like online lotto, you’d check www.reviewnerds.net.
2. Generations Game.
Try to arrange a day where you can write, play, sit upside down, and ponder. Forcing ideas doesn’t always end the way we hope it will. There are many techniques that you can use to help you and/or your team.
SCAMPER – Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, Reverse. Bob Eberle developed this checklist, and it is often proved successful.
Daydreaming – Remember all of the times you were told off for daydreaming in school? Well, you can put that to good use. Letting your mind wander, will mean you aren’t limiting your thought process at all.
Reverse Thinking – For every question you have, look at the negative version of it. If the question is, how can I improve this process, then ask – how can I make this process worse. The reverse answers will give you a manageable to-do list of opposite things.
Wishing – This one is a little out of the box, but great ideas come from a special place. In the case of wishing you make between 20-30 wishes. Start with small tangible wishes and get bigger and bigger. Wishes are usually something we don’t think we can attain, however sometimes in all of the big dreams and wishes, is the solution and idea you are looking for.
There will be a lot of ideas that aren’t practical or possible right now. This doesn’t mean they are bad ideas, but it does mean that they should be put to the side right now. Make sure that you keep a detailed note on them, stashed safely away.
The best thing you can do is always have a pen and paper with you. By the bedside table, in your bag, in your car and even your jacket pocket. To add to that use something like Evernote across your mobile phone and computers – so that you can continually add to a project file on the go.