Idea generation techniques to improve your creativity
Idea generation techniques are certain techniques for generating ideas that you probably would not come up with without these techniques. They help you gain inspiration and solve problems in a different way. With these techniques you turn out to be many times more creative.
When do you use the techniques?
Originally these techniques are mainly used by designers of, for example, products, but in fact they can be used by everyone, at least if you need an idea for something. With idea generation it is important not to think too early in the solution. This often happens without you noticing. Below is an example of this.
You want more light in the front room. All your ideas are about different types of lamps.
What’s going wrong:
You have already thought that there should be a lamp in the front room, while this could also be an extra window for more light, for example.
There are a number of different techniques to use to come up with a great idea. The most important are explained below.
The most famous idea generation technique is of course brainstorming. You will undoubtedly already know this method, but here is a brief explanation. You put the keyword of the problem in the middle and write words around it that you think are related to the keyword. Try to write down everything that comes to mind. The result is also known as a word spider or context diagram.
A fun and very effective idea generation technique is brain drawing. You always do brain drawing with several people (4 or 5 people is recommended). You have a problem and possibly 2 or 3 limitations with the problem. With these limitations you try to draw a solution for the problem. You really don’t have to be able to draw well for this, as long as your idea is clear. So everyone starts by drawing one or more solutions, after 3 minutes everyone turns their paper with ideas / solutions to the one on his left. The next person tries to develop or improve the idea. Everyone gets to see every idea and tries to improve it. When everyone has had everything once, all ideas are spread on the table and the best idea is selected.
Brainwriting / script writing
Brainwriting is an unknown but also fun technique. Again you have a problem and a few limitations. Everyone starts to write a screenplay or story. You assume that you encounter the problem that is central to you, you then write down what you would do with the problem and the limitations that exist. The intention is that you turn it into a smoothly running story. After 3 minutes of writing, pass the story on to the next person next to you. Everyone does the same as you, so you also get a story from someone else after 3 minutes (4-5 people is recommended again). You continue to write the story that you now have in front of your nose in the next 3 minutes. With this technique, everyone gets each story once again and tries to write it further.
You often get very special stories that you cannot get ideas from at first glance. Read the scenarios carefully afterwards and still try to find a solution for your idea everywhere. Very unexpected yet very good ideas / solutions will come out.
Which technique should you use when?
It is not really clear when you which idea techniques to use to arrive at a solution. In most cases it doesn’t really matter which technique you use, as long as the technique is understood.
It is also possible to apply the different techniques one after the other. For example, start with the warm-up followed by brainstorming. You can then use the words that come from the brainstorm for the techniques braindrawing and brainwriting. You then use the words from the brainstorm as limitations with the other techniques.