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How do you generate new ideas?

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How do you generate new ideas?

Monday Motivational 1/2/2023

Happy New Year! ✨Let’s start off the new year with new ideas.

It’s very easy to listen to our own voice. I’ve found that looking outside of myself allows me to learn. By surrounding myself with people smarter than myself, I learn even faster.

At WillowCress, we commonly take our clients through brainstorming sessions to generate new ideas for their businesses. Design Thinking is at the core of our work.

When brainstorming, it’s extremely important not to shoot down new ideas (another post about Ideas is coming soon). So grab some sticky notes and let’s jump in.

A successful brainstorming session looks like this:

  1. Define the problem that needs solving
  2. Diverge and generate a large number of ideas with a “Yes, And” brainstorming blitz
  3. Converge and make choices regarding which ideas are viable, feasible, and desirable (see figure below)

We typically use sticky notes for our brainstorming since they’re easy to move and organize. It’s also helpful to group or combine similar ideas together.

Once the problem worth solving is defined, the diverge section of our brainstorm session should take at least five minutes. The most important rule during the diverge section is that no one shoots down any ideas at this point. It helps to practice saying “Yes, And.” For example, Suzie says “we should post more on social media” then Rick might say: “Yes, and we should be posting videos about what we do.”

The converge section can often take the longest because it involves making decisions. This typically involves grouping the post-it notes into a yes, no, and maybe sections.

Some questions that often aid in convergent decision making are:

  1. Is it feasible?
  2. Is it viable?
  3. Is it desirable?

Credit: https://designthinking.ideo.com/, https://www.ideou.com/pages/brainstorming#nav-image-text-best-brainstorming-overview-2

We have rarely not have generated multiple feasible, viable, and desirable solutions to our client’s problem by the end of our brainstorming sessions.

Questions? Comment below!

Keep brainstorming,

Benjamin Khachaturian

Some great sticky notes: https://amzn.to/3WbRTkp

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