Idea generation is a process of creating new ideas. That is, you find solutions for problems in life and work by generating ideas. It is a creative act of generating, developing and implementing new concepts.

Ideas appear in your mind every day, but they are not always the best. The creative ones may happen in a moment of inspiration. You are likely to generate good ideas when you avoid every-day thoughts and get out of your comfort zone.

The success of your business relies on your creativity. High-quality ideas move you forward. It’s not always easy to come up with good ideas. People often struggle with developing the concepts. It’s natural, but not impossible to overcome. In this blog, we introduce you to some techniques that help generate good ideas.

7 Great Techniques For Idea Generation

The 5W+H

The 5W+H technique is a great way to boost your creativity. The letters stand for who, what, where, when, why, and how. These are the basic questions you need to answer when you think about something specific. This  helps you reconsider the topic and look at problems from a different perspective. While doing so, you actually generate ideas. If you’re able to answer them, you’re closer to tackling the issues.


Brainstorming is one of the most popular techniques people use for idea generation. This technique is all about saying the first thing that pops in your mind about the topic. There are no right or wrong ideas. Everything is accepted. In fact, crazy ideas are most welcome since they stimulate creativity. After you’re done with brainstorming, narrow down the ideas. From the filtered list of ideas, pick the ones that are potentially viable.

Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is a technique to connect ideas and pieces of information. It’s a diagram where you write keywords and tasks relevant to your main concept. In mind mapping, each piece of information you write is connected to the previous or following fact. This enables you to create a web of relationships.

In order to create a mind map, define the key phrase and write it down in the centre. Then write anything that pops into your mind. When you’re done, start making connections among your ideas. It sounds like brainstorming, yet your ideas must be connected to one another.


Another great way of idea generation is SCAMPER. And no, this technique is not about hurrying!. Instead, you use a course of actions to come up with ideas. It is like a check-list that walks you through the process of creating high-quality ideas. Initially invented for brainstorming, many people use this technique for overall idea generation. The name is an acronym. The letters stand for action verbs in the process.





Put to another use



When looking for that great idea, don’t forget that small ideas can help you. People often ignore those minor ones. Take your existing ideas as a starting point and see where you are. This is what SCAMPER is about.

Role Playing

Role playing is a fun, ice-breaker activity in a classroom. People let go of their shyness. It can help come up with bright ideas. To apply this technique, you just switch roles with your colleagues. You can also adopt a personality different from yours. Then, try to understand other perspectives. This technique doesn’t give you instant results. Yet, it definitely leads to interesting and brilliant ideas.


Did you know that you can stimulate the process of idea generation by daydreaming? When you daydream, you go away from restricted thoughts. There are no limits in your dreams. This is how you trigger great ideas. Just like daydreaming about a peaceful holiday, play around the current problem and bring your creativity into it. This way, you create an emotional connection with the issue. The connection leads you to brilliant ideas. The efficiency of this technique is not fully proven, yet it is certainly worth trying. If you are a daydreamer, why not use it for your business?

Opposite Thinking

This last technique is very different yet very helpful. Instead of finding ways to achieve your goals, you find ways not to achieve them. It sounds absurd, but it is really effective. Focusing on negative thinking leads you to several new ideas. For example, ask your team how to reduce the revenue of the company. You will realise that it is easier to come up with opposite ideas because it’s fun. However, don’t spend too much time with opposite thinking. Finding 7 to 10 ideas should suffice. After a few sessions, your mind will broaden, and you’ll be able to generate more ideas.

Examples of Idea Generation

Every business starts with an idea. People come up with ideas according to the demands in the market. Today, there are many successful companies in the world. For instance, Airbnb is one of the most popular companies in accommodation services. It started when two designers decided to host travellers in their empty rooms because they needed to make money.

Uber was founded under the name of Ubercab after the founder hired a private driver, and it cost $800. He wanted to reduce the cost of transportation. He realised that sharing a cab with other people costs less. Later, another entrepreneur joined the founder. This idea evolved into what we know today as Uber.

The Bottom Line

Each business requires an idea to emerge. Each person needs different techniques to generate great ideas. These aren’t the only techniques. There are many more. Start with the ones we gathered for you, and see how much you can create. Eventually, you will maximise your creativity. 

About the author

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

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