Brainstorming can be very one dimensional. Minds go blank and participants can feel awkward about contributing. So just how can you and the team create winning ideas, to inspire and motivate, in these difficult times?
The good news is that creativity and ideas generation can be approached as a process. This means that anybody with an interest in exploring new ways of doing things, who cares to apply themselves, can do it.
And you don’t have to be creative or free thinking. The art of producing ideas is down to two things; principles and method. James Webb Young is the inventor of the process, described in his book, “A Technique for Producing Ideas”.
The principle is straightforward. That a new idea is simply discovering a new combination of existing elements and that the ability to make these connections arises from the way people view relationships.
There are five stages to the process and for it to work, each stage must be completed methodically, conscientiously and in the correct order.
Today, I’m going to describe the first stage. Let’s take a hypothetical problem, albeit a very common one in the current market place.
“Client buying patterns have changed. Their purchase decisions are now much more price sensitive and have you started to lose sales to competitors?”
You need to come up with ways of preventing this.
The first stage is conceptually simple, yet a real challenge to achieve. You and your team need to explore and collect the raw data surrounding this problem.
The challenge is to establish the minutiae of what’s specifically going on – putting the problem under the electron microscope to examine the detail from every angle. You also need to gather general information about what’s happening in the market place too.
Most of us start to find this irksome after a while and the temptation is to stop gathering and start looking for the solution. Don’t, the more diligent you are with the gathering task, the better your chances of success later.
Next week I’ll describe what to do next with the information you have gathered. If you click on the subscribe link, top right, the post will be sent to you automatically.