By Darren Roberts
Here you will find ten of the best methods I have used in my
organization for idea generation. They have worked for me very
well. I trust they will assist you in your endeavors as they have
done with mine.
1. Define the Problem
To generate ideas to solve business problems we all need a
starting point. You will not be able to fly from New York to
Frankfurt, Germany until you first arrive at JFK. If you don't
exactly know where you are you will need a map to pinpoint your
current location and then gradually work your way to JFK Airport.
It's imperative that you establish where you are before looking to
progress. In other words, study the map that will take you to New
You have probably heard of this brilliant method. It's when a
group of people get together and simply write down as much as
they can in relation to the objectives outlined. Don't worry about
strategic planning or anything like that. Concentrate solely on
idea generation. Place a time limit on the group and choose the
location and the time well so that they are conducive to
Make sure that everybody is at their peak and has been
instructed to "Think Big". I have been able to move mountains
after a very healthy brainstorming session.
3. Focus Entirely on What You Want
To give your ideas the best chance to sprout for your business
solutions you are going to need to switch off to outside
influences. Tolerate nothing! Eradicate the distractions, the daily
frustrations and predictable dramas of your life once and for all!
Don't just fix the problem, redesign your routine so the predictable
irritations can't ever bother you again!
4. Have a Genuine Interest in What You are Trying to Do
Do you remember your schooling days when you participated in
sports (or particular class subjects) that you absolutely detested;
as back then, they were compulsory? Do you remember how good
you were at these activities? Probably not as it doesn't present
itself as a good memory. But it's probably safe to say that you
didn't perform well.
It's very, very difficult to perform magnificently at something
you're not overly fond of. If you have a vested interest in what it
is you're trying to do, the likelihood of success is multiplied
substantially. If you're trying to solve something that bores you to
tears, give it to someone who really likes it. This concept
encompasses teamwork which is another subject altogether.
If you're self-employed, you'll have an automatic interest (taking
into account that you have a vision of what you want your
business to become).
5. Look at Parallel Problem Solutions
Relate your current problem to one that you had in the past and
check for parallels between the two. The way(s) earlier problems
were solved can assist you greatly in generating ideas to solve
subsequent situations that present themselves.
Think laterally, think vertically, think logically. The best ideas will
always come from groups working for the common goal. Give your
group as much opportunity to be creative by listening twice as
much as speaking. Do this as informally as possible and get past
situations into the open.
You can then draw on the past successes and take them a step
further with the challenge of today.
6. Look at Each Task as a Challenge
It's true that if you look at a problem simply as a "problem," then
that is exactly how many will look at it. Sure it is a problem and,
therefore, needs a solution. However, this thought should not be
in the forefront of the mind when looking to turn this "problem"
into an "asset".
The word "problem" tends to sum up negative thoughts within us.
It's these negative thoughts that can almost act as a barrier to
its resolution. Now if we turn the coin over and look at it from the
other side (using our example in step 1) we can look at the trip
from wherever we are to New York as an adventurous challenge.
It is simply by this method that we have more positive thoughts
within our mind and are more likely to enjoy ourselves along the
8. Turn the Challenge/Problem into a Catchy Expression
We've looked at using past examples and creating parallels to
"answer our challenge". One step further is to present the
challenge as a catchphrase.
Using our same example:
'Aunty Jackie's For Christmas', 'Frankfurt Or Bust', 'Europe For The
Summer', 'Dream Trip Of A Lifetime', 'The European Cultural
Experience', 'Tomorrow Travel at 250kmh Legally'
Doing this will give everyone an idea of the benefits associated
with the attainment of the problem at hand. It puts them in the
situation that they are already there.
It's so much easier to get there with a popular vision on the mind.
What expression would you suggest?
8. Daydream! Let Your Creative Subconscious Work for You!
It's no strange coincidence that during the time you drive along
staring out the window, sleep in your bed, undertake your daily
duties at work or anything for that matter, your subconscious
continues to work for you.
How often have you been doing something totally unrelated and
then suddenly an idea snaps into your mind? Often? Sometimes?
Never? In any case, after you have put considerable time into
solving your problem, you'll find your inner mind will work for you.
Sometimes if you try too hard to solve something, you end up
with nothing short of major frustration.
So, as the expression goes "chill out", have a break and sleep on
it. You may be surprised at how successful switching off can be.
9. Alter Your Routine Regularly
Have you ever noticed how easily we accumulate habits. Many
habits can actually stifle your creativity. Are you someone who:
'travels the same route each day', 'work at the same desk and
task day in day out', 'mix with the same people regularly', 'take
your annual holidays to the same destination each year'?
To continue generating healthy ideas to better our work, our
surroundings, our family, etc., we must continually be looking for
"newness". Familiarity is very good in that it makes us feel very,
very secure. It's this very security that closes our mind to change
and restricts our creative abilities.
Take the bus or the train across town or maybe even just a
different route from time to time, broaden your job responsibilities,
take on another sport or leisure activity and meet some different
people with a different outlook.
You'll be quietly surprised at how much positive energy you'll get
from doing things as small as that outlined above.
10. Carry a Notepad
I always have a notepad with me. I'm now at the point where I
can't live without one of the most simple devices known to man,
which has probably been around almost since the days of the
A pen with a pocket size pad is brilliant as you can capture every
idea that comes to you. It's absolutely useless to say "I'll write it
down later", as the chances are very slim that you will do that at
They will be your ideas. Capture them, preserve them, apply
The Top 10 Brainstorming Techniques for Business Success
We experience creativity every time a fresh idea pops into our minds. We recognize creative imagination in everything from a pastel painting to a business plan. By trying these ten tips, you will discover some amazing creative abilities that may surprise you.
Yourself For Success
We've all had them. Those days when discouragement threatens to defeat purpose and conviction and start us down the steep, slippery slope of self-doubt.
So, how do you get through those times of self-doubt and back into the saddle?
All Starts With A Dream
Never give up focus on what you want, because believing that you can do it is half the battle.
Imagine yourself as a success, and you canít fail. You may never be rich, but the friends you
make along the way as you are learning the ropes are something you canít buy anyway.