5 Quick Ways to Generate Ideas

5 Quick Ways to Generate Ideas

When marketing or developing a business, innovation is a necessity. To stay ahead of the competition one must strategize creative ways to generate ideas. Five quick ways to generate to ideas include mind mapping, bodystorming, cross pollination, observing, and thinking metaphorically. With proper usage, these methods are quick, effective, and easy to learn.

Mind Mapping

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Author Tony Buzan created the often-used mind map technique. A great way to generate ideas, the mind map is a visual diagram created around a single concept. Once the initial concept is created, related, slightly more in depth branches are developed in the form of subheadings. Once four to five subheadings are chosen, the user jots down details for each subheadings. On a completed mind map, branches sprout out from the initial subject in all directions. There are many uses for mind maps, including thinking through a complex problem and summarizing information. In the business world they are helpful with narrowing product lines, creating marketing campaigns, and solving problems.

Bodystorming

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Another way to generate ideas is bodystorming. Bodystorming, normally done in small groups, generally takes between twenty and sixty minutes. The goal is to get new ideas and even unexpected ideas by physically working through a situation, as a group. The way to body storm is just to get up and do it. The point is to act out an idea and evaluate the decisions that occur during physically testing it. This is a great method for visual learners and can double as a team building exercise. Try bodystorming in a variety of surroundings to develop a different perspective.

Cross-Pollination

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Cross-pollination is a powerful way to help generate ideas. The idea behind cross-pollination is bringing together people from different backgrounds, specialties, and cultures to work together on solving a business-related issue. One example would be bringing top members of a company’s sales team, engineering team, and customer service staff to create a new product or discuss a marketing campaign. The varied perspectives offer insight that even the best member of a single group could not develop individually. As a bonus, cross-pollination helps to create unity and understanding between departments.

Observation

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Invaluable, though frequently overlooked in our fast-paced culture, simple observation is a quick and highly effective way to generate ideas. It can be done anywhere, anytime, by anyone. Observing simply means going out into the world and watching human behavior. Pay attention to the surrounding world and articulate what is seen. There are many places that a person can observe other people, including shopping centers, parks, even the office. Taking a few minutes away from the computer and out of the boardroom to really invest in what is going on around you can serve as a powerful muse.

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Thinking metaphorically is yet another great way to generate ideas. Choose a physical item or idea that is similar to the intangible topic of discussion, and find ways that they are similar. Ask questions such as, “How is this item like our problem?” or “What attributes of this item could help us solve our problem?” Thinking metaphorically is a great place to start when looking for new ideas.

Successful businesses are open to new possibilities. Remaining stagnant is the number one way to destroy a company or kill an otherwise brilliant idea. The key to productivity and ongoing development is to remain constantly on the lookout for new ideas, easier solutions, and innovative marketing techniques. Develop revolutionary thinking with the right team and a few simple strategies.