The process used for generating creative ideas and solutions is generally called brainstorming, and can be done by individuals or groups. This is done through intensive group discussion or free flowing debate. It can also be done by making lists by an individual. No matter how many people are involved, the techniques used to get the thoughts rolling is not that different from the creative arts where the goal might be something like deciding what type of art exhibit to feature contrasted to the big business sector where the goal might be something like figuring out the next funny car insurance commercial. It is not magic, but the simplicity of it may seem like it.
There are 4 tricks for brainstorming new business ideas that have been used by many of the world’s most successful thinkers. They are more elementary than you might think. For purposes of this article these methods are defined as; Nominal, Inventive, Disruptive, or Collaborative.
Each of these 4 tricks can be used to create either new ideas or revise an already existing idea. With this in mind, here is each of the major methods and how they work.
1. The Nominal Brainstorming Trick
The trick here is looking for things that are needed but have not been invented. Usually this involves some kind of problem solving application. Are there things that are complicated for some reason but wish you could do? This method gets started by watching and listing clearly what is noticed.
The most common version of this method is to carry a notebook with you everywhere for a week or so. Write down every problem you see as an individual. Ask others about problems they notice in the world daily, listen well, and take notes. Every problem is an opportunity with the need for a solution to be made, creating something profitable to your business.
2.The Inventive Brainstorming Trick
The trick here is to choose a specific target market you want to serve before even thinking about what needs to be invented. By looking carefully at the demographics, behaviors, beliefs, needs, and wants of an already existing market, you are putting yourself in the consumer’s shoes. What problems do they need solved? What do they need? What do they really need?
This lateral method is usually done in pairs of groups of three brains working out the missing element in their business marketing. If something is missing and also is needed, then something new can be invented that will provide both as a product and a service to the user. These ideas, when well planned out, can be very profitable indeed.
3. The Disruptive Brainstorming Trick
The trick here is to do something that changes the way that the consumer uses something fundamentally; often these innovations can stir the very foundations of an industry. Therefore these are known as disruptive. The tendency is to either remodel the business product so that it is lowered in price dramatically or to create something that replaces a formerly required tool or hired specialist that was essential prior to the innovation being thought of.
The most common version of this method involves groups hammering out ideas on a decided topic over which everyone is focused. Hopefully the topic of discussion inspires debate or argument over what is good or bad about the current state of said industry in the present. Disruption of the old thinking is the goal of the interplay between members of the group, thus creating new ideas as a by-product.
4. The Collaborative Brainstorming Trick
The trick here is to mix and match already available ideas from various sources that are freely available to be borrowed. There are always ideas that already exist and perhaps they can be made more interesting thru some kind of gimmick or association with another idea. This is commonly done by creating a jingle that people here and associates with a well known product.
There are logos that serve this purpose, campaigns to make the public image of a product renewed (i.e. many insurance companies have jumped onto the recent “green movement” by marketing online insurance quotes to consumers with the angle that shopping online saves paper), or advertising that promotes a formerly underrated aspect of the thing being sold. As groups debate over a subject has them express their ideas verbally and write them down to generate this kind of idea flow. Randomly have the written ideas passed to a person speaking and have them integrate the idea they have read collaboratively with the one they are speaking about.
When all else fails, start over, or evaluate what has been achieved. This is the final phase of all brainstorming sessions for generating business ideas.
All of these tricks are open ended by definition. If a technique does not seem to be working well, switch the method you are using or incorporate something from one of the other three to spark a change in thinking on the topic in question.
Analysis, discussion, or criticism of the aired ideas is allowed only when the brainstorming process. Also all participants should be encouraged to think aloud and suggest as many ideas as possible, no matter unusual, unorthodox or bizarre they may seem. When the brainstorming session is over with then the evaluation session of the ideas produced begins.
Coming up with any new idea is easy, relatively speaking. If you use these 4 tricks for brainstorming new ideas on a regular basis then using each method will become more familiar to you. Eventually you will find yourself automatically thinking with these styles in mind, and then generation of ideas will become business as usual. At least it will seem like it is, eventually.
See, now wasn’t that easy?