Creative Elements of Idea Generation

What are the Creative Components of Idea Generation?

We often hear people claim in our sessions that they aren't creative. The simple fact is, everyone can be creative. It’s an art and a skill that can not only be taught, it can be enhanced with practice.
 
Once you know the basic principles, you can practice every day. And we believe the more you practice, the more creativity flourishes. There are 4 key elements of creativity in the idea generation stage of the creative process—which ultimately leads to a bountiful ideation session. 

Quantity
  • The Key: Generate, generate, generate. The best way to get quantity is to keep writing down as many ideas as possible, then building on others’ ideas as they’re shared out loud.
  • The Watchout: Idea hoarding does not create quantity. If you wait too long to offer an idea, you can lose it—or even forget it. Sharing ideas out loud helps move ideation along, not only helping to build quantity, but also variety. Also, be sure to capture your ideas as soon as they come to mind.
Variety
  • The Key: Diversity of ideas brings breadth to your ideation. One of the easiest ways to add variety is to look at the ideas you’ve generated and discover what broad category they come from—i.e., home improvement, personal growth, food, etc. Once you’ve created a list of categories, pick one you haven’t delved enough into and generate more ideas from there.
  • The Watchout: Ideating in one or two categories provides quantity, but usually lacks variety. If you’re feeling stuck-in-a-ruttish, take a step back and generate more broad category options. You can also do an excursion (like Assumption Busting) to help expand your ideation scope.
Unique
  • The Key: Uniqueness is one of the hardest things to achieve—not because people can’t do it, but because most people are trained at a very early age to self-edit. Stretching your mind with excursions helps to push to new areas of opportunities.
  • The Watchout: Playing it too safe. It is easier to take a far-out idea and scale it in, than it is to take a safe idea and try to make it uniquely different.
Elaboration
  • The Key: Sharing ideas out loud can spark a new, slightly different idea for someone else. In idea generation we call it “a build.” In effect, these iterations make ideas better. Elaboration has the ability to turn a rough thought into a gem of an idea. Plus, the longer you elaborate, the more possibilities you may uncover.
  • The Watchout: Elaboration can run amok if it’s not brought back around to the original purpose—i.e., what were we talking about again? After you’re done building on an idea, it’s useful to look over everything you and your team came up with. You can keep what’s useful and recycle the rest.

These are the 4 elements of creativity that are important during ideation. When generating ideas, be sure to keep these 4 components in mind. With practice, ideas will flow more easily and they'll be more original. Just remember that creativity is like a muscle—the more you use it, the stronger it gets. 


Ideas To Go is an innovation agency that works with Fortune 500 companies in ideation and concept development to incorporate the voice of the consumer.

©2012 Ideas To Go, Inc. All rights reserved.

Ideas To Go

Ideas To Go is an innovation agency that works with Fortune 500 companies in ideation and concept development to incorporate the voice of the consumer.