Brainstorming, or ‘thought showers’ as we are politically correctly meant to call them now, is a tool businesses use to generate new ideas, particularly in the creative industries.
What we’ve found as a business though, is that thought showers tend to start off with little preparation and without setting clear goals and objectives. This often causes things to go off on a tangent.
As a product design agency, we like the concept of brainstorming however as our primary aim is to problem solve, we have to take it to the next level to ensure the end result succeeds. This is what we call structured idea generation.
The first thing we do is to break the process down into smaller, manageable sessions rather than all day events. This keeps things moving along quicker with fresh thoughts and ideas. Before the first session, we collate a lot of essential information such as documented research, marketing data from our client, statistics, facts and figures – this guides the sessions down the right path (and also stops the process there if we don’t think it’s viable). We also find that the greatest idea sometimes comes after a few days of the first session once the relevant information has sunk in.
Our process of Idea generation includes:
Problem solution: Someone has found a problem and as a result, we need to solve it
Coming up with ideas; derivative idea means taking something that already exists and changing it; symbiotic idea is where multiple ideas are pooled – using various elements of each to make a whole and revolutionary idea in creating something completely new
Targeted innovation: using the extensive research and ideas to resolve the problem
Artistic innovation: creating a solution that disregards the necessity for practicality and holds no constraints
Computer-assisted discovery: We are experts in CAD and use this to widen the possibilities
Having been in the innovation industry for over 10 years now, we’ve had a lot of experience in this area and find the above has resulted in 100s of successful product designs. Here’s our portfolio of as a guide for the sorts of things we’ve worked on. All of these have started from an idea / thought in our minds and we’ve have taken the necessary steps to bring that idea to life.
If you have an opinion on the above, we’d love to discuss this further. Join us on twitter @Trigcreative