Article Contents

‘Ideation’ is defined as the process of forming ideas. It forms the basis of a business plan and fuels its progression. An idea is what launches the business, and ideas are what will sustain it. Hence, the value of ideation for an entrepreneur shouldn’t be underestimated. 

However, generating ideas is easier said than done. Combing through a collection of ideas to identify the most viable ones is a process that requires time and dedication. Entrepreneurs must learn how to incorporate various ideation techniques into their business strategies, as well as identify which techniques produce the best possible results.

10 Effective Ideation Techniques

Rosabeth Moss Karter, the Ernest L. Arbuckle professor of business at Harvard, is a proponent for idea-fueled organisations. She states that ‘many companies must relearn instead to trust their people and encourage them to use neglected creative capacities to tap the most potent economic stimulus of all: idea power.’  

Braindump

The simplest ideation technique on this list which only requires a pen and a sheet of paper to write on. It can be used by one person who lists any ideas they produce over a defined period. There is no limit to the scale and size of these ideas as the purpose is to produce as many as possible. 

Brainstorming

After conducting a braindump, an entrepreneur can organise a team meeting composed of either all their employees or a representative from each department. The team members will then bounce their ideas off each other through open discussion, which will generate new ones over time.  

Reverse Brainstorming

Instead of generating new ideas from scratch, the team can present new potential problems or challenges to existing ones. This process would then inspire individuals to produce solutions which generate additional ideas. This technique is most effective when incorporated simultaneously with traditional brainstorming.  

Triggered Brainwalking

After singling out a concept or goal for consideration, a facilitator tapes as many sheets of paper as there are participants to the wall. Each sheet represents an ‘idea station’ and each participant must add their own idea to their assigned station. They then move on to the next station, comment on the next participant’s idea station, and so forth. Once every participant has contributed to each idea station, their ideas are evaluated and ranked.  

Brainwriting

Each participant writes down an idea on a piece of paper and then passes it on to the next participant for evaluation. After each participant has contributed an idea and it’s evaluated by the other team members, the ideas are ranked based on which best fits the project’s objectives. 

Crazy 8s

This is an ideal technique for the artistically inclined team. It involves each team member dividing a sheet of paper into eight squares and then taking eight minutes to fill it up with eight different ideas. After the allocated time is up, each team member can select two to three of their best ideas to present. 

SCAMPER

As described on Netmind, SCAMPER involves asking questions based on its acronym: Substitute (What can be replaced?), Combine (What can be combined?), Adapt (What can be added?), Modify (What can be modified/improved?), Put to other use, Eliminate (What can be removed?), Reverse (What can be reversed/rearranged?). As with reverse brainstorming, it’s useful for producing solutions to existing or potential problems.

Mindmapping

This involves taking one central concept, represented as an image in the centre of the page or board, and then linking ideas to it. Mindmapping allows for a visual representation of the thought process behind each idea, making it easy to communicate to an audience. It’s also a dynamic technique that offers room for creativity in displaying these ideas. 

Provocation

If an entrepreneur and their team are willing to push their creative limits, they can turn to provocation to produce out-of-the-box ideas. Provocation involves concocting unusual scenarios – termed ‘po’ for shorthand – to generate ideas. For example, a fish food company might be looking for new ways to promote a new product. Hence a provocation or ‘po’ would be to advertise it underwater. While absurd, it can generate ideas related to underwater-themed print advertisements and commercials. 

Workshops

With so many ideation techniques that cover different mediums and areas, a company can opt to incorporate several during a workshop. This enables all employees to gather and participate in many activities designed to stimulate creativity. One workshop may utilise as many techniques as time allows, or a series of workshops can be organised with each dedicated to a particular technique. 

Conclusion

Ideation covers a broad range of techniques, each of which covers a different creative outlet. An entrepreneur can cycle through as many types as they need in order to find the best fit for their needs The more they’re used, the more adept participants become at gleaning ideas from them. As a result, the business will reap enough creativity to keep itself up and running for years to come.  

Want to start and grow your own business? We have the perfect solution for you. We built a platform with over 17 courses designed by serial entrepreneurs to help you build a sustainable business. You will get access to hundreds of resources, tools, legal templates, and much more. Save time and money and become more successful by subscribing to our EWOR Platform. What are you waiting for?

Sign-up now!

About EWOR

EWOR is a school conceived by Europe’s top professors, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders. We educate and mentor young innovators to launch successful businesses.

Learn More

Article Contents

Our Programs

Fellowship

An exclusive 10-month, fully-sponsored, program designed for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make the world a better place.

Learn More

Academy

An 8-week online program that teaches you how to start a company with a lasting impact on the environment or society.

Learn More

Platform

Learn how to conceive, prototype, test, and launch an impactful venture with over 17 courses to help you start off.

Learn More

Newsletter

Don’t miss out on future content and subscribe to our newsletter!

Follow Us

About EWOR

EWOR is a school conceived by Europe’s top professors, entrepreneurs, and industry leaders. We educate and mentor young innovators to launch successful businesses.

Learn More

Our Programs

Fellowship

An exclusive 10-month, fully-sponsored, program designed for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make the world a better place.

Learn More

Academy

An exclusive 10-month, fully-sponsored, program designed for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to make the world a better place.

Learn More

Platform

Learn how to conceive, prototype, test, and launch an impactful venture with over 17 courses to help you start off.

Learn More

Newsletter

Don’t miss out on future content and subscribe to our newsletter!

Recommended

Empathy Maps and How to Use Them Effectively

Let’s say you are in the early prototyping stages of product development. You want to...

How to Network as an Entrepreneur

Hi! I’m Mona Ghazi, Co-Founder and CEO of Optimo. I’m passionate about entrepreneurship and education,...

Does Speed Reading Actually Work?

Speed reading is a skill which fascinates many people. Would it not be amazing to...

Implementing Agile Leadership for Success in Business

Business always changes. Today, we live in the Information Age, surrounded by massive technological advances....

An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Smart Work

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines ‘hardworking’ as ‘constantly, regularly, or habitually engaged in earnest and energetic...

Entrepreneurs’ Watchlist: Movies and TV Shows to Watch

An entrepreneur is always busy building a business, finishing tasks, and joining meetings. It’s nice...

Follow Us

Rate this article

Want to start and grow your own business?

Learn how to conceive, prototype, test, and launch an impactful venture with over 17 courses.

Get access to over 300 resources including pitch-decks, investor term sheets, and contracts.

daniel

Daniel Dippold

Michael