Have your creative juices run dry? Or have you realized that you may not be able to solve a problem on your own? Whether you’re looking to name a new product, identify new opportunities, or solve a current problem, idea generation tools enable you to expand your range of ideas beyond your current range of thinking. Although there are many ways to generate ideas, there really is an art to doing it right.
The Diamond Principle
Before we dive into the specifics of idea generation strategy, let’s first look at why idea generation is important. To do this, we like to refer to the “Diamond Principle”. The Diamond Principle simply illustrates the two-step process of generating and optimizing ideas. The top half of the diamond is where you expand the range of possible solutions. Often times in business we’re unable to think too far outside of the box – we’re too close to the trees to see the forest.
The bottom half of the diamond is where you focus in on the best ideas. Now that you know you’ve covered the range of possible solutions, you can begin to find the best solution to your problem. Rather than going from point A (the top point of the diamond) directly to point B (the bottom point of the diamond), it’s important to see the whole picture before narrowing down on a solution.
Ok, enough with the philosophical “mumbo jumbo”, let’s move on to how you can use this understanding.
When choosing your idea generation tool make sure it provides:
- Anonymity – produces more truthful responses.
- Idea Isolation – When ideas are viewable to other participants during the creation process, a pattern of similar ideas begin to form; significantly limiting the range of possible solutions.
There are many idea generation tools available but I want to dive into a specific tool called brandDelphi™. brandDelphi™ enables you to create a large number of ideas (sometimes hundreds of ideas) in a fairly short amount of time. The tool also helps you to identify some of the more important ideas after the creation process is complete by asking participants to rate ideas by importance and relevance.
I’m personally fascinated with the idea optimization process (bottom half of the diamond). This is where you find out which idea produced in the idea generation process is the best solution to my problem. How in the world can I do that?
I’d like to also highlight an idea optimization tool call IdeaMap®. IdeaMap® is a tool rooted in Conjoint Analysis methodology. Essentially, IdeaMap® allows you to quantify the weight (or importance) of individual elements or ideas. In other words, you can identify the best ideas and what specifically about those ideas is impactful. This tool is also really valuable when testing messaging before you launch a campaign.
- When looking to find a solution to your problem, make sure you expand the range of possible solutions before you narrow down.
- There are many ways to generate ideas but if you don’t have a structure in place to organize and facilitate the ideas, things can get out of hand in a hurry.
In what ways have you used Idea Generation to help your business? Let us know in the comments below.