Does your team get stuck every time they hit a bottleneck? Have you been looking for groundbreaking business ideas for some time and don’t know what to do to come up with some “innovative things”? Do you need to generate new ideas to solve old problems? Do you want to know techniques to generate creative ideas?…
Ultimately, you don’t know how to generate innovative ideas to create a company, to solve a problem or respond to a need?
This post is going to help you, because I am going to show you the 3 steps that we use in Scrollthenews to generate innovative ideas for businesses, products or services, filter them and finally, select the “winning” innovative idea with which to build your company, generate a new product or service or solve a problem. Shall we start?…
But first of all, what does it mean to have innovative business ideas or innovative product ideas ? Well, simply, generate a novel idea with the possibility of turning it into an innovative and profitable business. You already know that at Scrollthenews, we believe that the key to success lies in the execution by the entrepreneurial team, rather than in the innovative business idea itself.
As Steve Johnson well explains in his book ” The Good Ideas “, in the process of creating and developing brilliant innovative ideas, two common denominators coexist: creativity and innovation. .
In this video, the author provides us with the keys to cultivating our own creativity, with the aim of becoming more innovative and thus being able to generate innovative ideas for our own projects or those of others.
There are various techniques that help us foster our creativity (brainstorming, brainwriting, forced associations… and many more that we see in our face-to-face creativity workshop ), but here we present the process in 3 steps to get innovative ideas for products, services or for concrete projects.
The 3 phases are:
- Generation of many ideas. The quantity here matters. The more, the better. We will use the technique of Braistorming or brainstorming.
- Selection of the 4 best ideas. To do this, we use the €100 technique, which we will explain later.
- Choice of the best idea, the one that best solves the problem or the one we would bet on to generate a profitable business. We will use the technique of shortened hats.
So, we start with the first point, the generation of a large number of ideas for projects.
Generation of Innovative Business Ideas with Brainstorming
Brainstorming, also known as “brainstorming” or “brainstorming”, is probably the oldest and best known technique. Its creator , Alex Osborn , used it frequently and decided to write a book ( Applied Imagination ) where it was described for the first time.
What is brainstorming?
It is a very simple creativity technique. Its objective is to generate a large number of innovative ideas for business, products, services or to solve the specific problem that you have set as your goal. This exercise is much more effective when done in groups of 4 to 6 people, and in a very relaxed environment.
The 4 phases of brainstorming
The brainstorming exercise to generate innovative ideas is divided into 4 phases:
This phase is advisable to generate an optimal climate for ideas to flow. Its objective is none other than to disconnect from daily stress and break with the usual limitations of thought.
To lose the shame!
There are many dynamics to break the ice, such as having a paper airplane competition, having all the participants stand up and doing some type of exercise, or simply take a piece of paper and a pen, close your eyes and slide the pen over the paper. without any rule, obligation or objective. Just let yourself go!
- EXHIBITION OF PROBLEMS AND RULES.
The facilitator of the dynamic briefly explains to all the participants the specific issue they are going to work on. The objective may be to find innovative business ideas, innovative product ideas, service ideas or simply solve a problem that exists in your company , such as increasing the client portfolio.
It is also the moment where the rules and dynamics of the exercise are explained .
3.GENERATION OF INNOVATIVE IDEAS.
Each member of a group, and individually, writes down all the ideas that come to mind related to the problem presented. No matter the quality of the ideas , at this stage…
No value judgments allowed!!
It will be time to filter and evaluate the ideas later. Write them all down, however absurd they may seem. They may be the key to the innovative idea you are looking for!! In this phase it is important to facilitate where to write down the ideas to each participant. Use post its and colored markers, it’s a creativity workshop!!
- SHARING AND GENERATION OF NEW IDEAS IN GROUPS.
In this phase, all the ideas generated by each member of the group are shared. These ideas will give rise to new ones, write them all down. In this case you can work with blackboards. Encourage interaction between participants, get them up and moving. This will make the atmosphere more relaxed and fun.
And remember, this is not the time to value ideas!
At this point the brainstorming exercise is over. The next step is the grouping, filtering, analysis and selection of the best innovative idea, which we will see in the next point. But before that.
The 6 keys to a good brainstorming exercise
- Duration:I recommend that the brainstorming exercise not exceed 30 minutes.
- No judgment:It is important that you engrave this golden rule “on fire” in the minds of all the participants. There should be no value judgment against any idea. The key is to improve the partner’s idea, not destroy it.
- Quantity is rewarded, not quality:It is important to generate as many ideas as possible. Right now the quality of ideas doesn’t matter.
- The figure of the facilitator:It is advisable to use a person who stimulates the technique. It will help to carry out the session in a more fluid way and avoid collapses and “mental jams” 😉
- Multidisciplinary teams:The result of brainstorming is much more enriching if you mix people from different departments within an organization, different fields, different backgrounds, even different ages. The inclusion of a child in such a session can be very rewarding.
- Number of participants:Limit the number of members of each group. I recommend groups of 4 to 6 people. The session will flow better.
Once we have generated a considerable number of business ideas, what we are going to do is move on to the second step of the process:
Grouping and Selection of the Best Innovative Business Ideas with the 100 Euro Technique
In this phase, what we intend is to group the pile of ideas that we have generated, by affinity. For example, if we have several ideas related to gifts for men, we will group in the same group those that refer to:
- sports accessories
- Tennis racquets
- cross trainers
- bike odometer
These ideas could be grouped into a group of nominee men’s sport or something like that. The rest of the ideas will be grouped according to their degree of affinity or according to our own interests. Here too, the experience of the facilitator plays an important role.
The next step, once the ideas have been grouped, will be to choose the 3 or 4 that seem most interesting to us. For that, we will use the €100 technique
What does it consist of?
It’s as simple as fictitiously distributing €100 to each member of the group. Afterwards, each person distributes the €100 that they have received, as they wish, among the groups of ideas from the previous point.
The selection criteria can be based on original idea, practicality, possibilities of turning that idea into a profitable business, cost of bringing the idea to market, or any other criteria that you want to mark.
In this way, when all the members have selected the innovative ideas for businesses, we will be able to see the ones that have received the most money and in this way the ones that the group has identified as the most interesting. We will take the 3 that have obtained the most votes.
With this process, we have gone from having a huge number of business ideas, generated by brainstorming, grouping and filtering them until leaving them in only 3.
The basis of this technique and as we use it in Scrollthenews, is basically to select the winning idea.
We are not purists of the technique, so usually and for reasons of time, we only use 3 hats. The technique consists of assuming that all the members of the group put on the hat of the same color and evaluate an idea according to the perspective of the hat.
For example, with the black hat we will see the drawbacks and bad points that the idea has, while with the yellow hat, we will analyze the advantages of the idea.
Let’s see what each hat of this creativity technique means, in a little more detail:
The red hat, the one of emotions
This hat makes you see things from the emotional plane, that is, how you feel with that idea, if it produces good or bad sensations. Since it is the emotional part, it is not advisable to think too much, otherwise the response with this hat must be quick.
The black hat, the negative .
This hat is the one with which we see the negative part of the idea, what its weak points are or why it might not work. Generally, it’s pretty easy to see the negative in things, so the dialogue tends to flow pretty quickly.
The yellow hat, the positive.
With this hat, we see the positive part of the idea, why it can work, if it has a large potential market, if the time needed to bring it to market is short, in short, all the positive parts that the idea can have to later generate a profitable business model or at least worth starting a business from.
Once the 3 ideas have been evaluated from the perspective of each hat, we will have a clearer idea of the strengths, weaknesses and emotions that each of these ideas produces in us and it will be easier for the group to choose the winning idea.
If the group intended to solve a problem or build an innovative business from the winning idea, the starting point is now set. But getting an innovative idea is only the first step, there is still a long way to go if you want to turn that idea into reality.
(In this other post, we summarize the process in 8 steps to turn an innovative business idea into a real business .)
Do you have experience with these creativity techniques? Do you need innovative ideas to undertake? Do you need innovative ideas for traditional businesses? Do you leave us a comment and tell us?
Also, if you want to generate innovative ideas for companies, innovative ideas to create a company or innovate in your business model, we have the tools to ideate, filter and help you turn your idea into a viable business.