How Do We Generate New Ideas?

The lightbulb moments happen, you’re walking the dog down the street and something lights up – your invisible antennas receive an amazing idea, and you can’t wait to begin! 

Most often however, new product ideas don’t begin this way. What actually happens is that ideas are developed organically and deliberately, in teams, with brainstorming, research and planning.

The expression coined by either Gary Player or Arnold Palmer (professional golfers – the jury is still out about who said it first), “The more I practise, the luckier I get”, applies to product development. The most innovative products that have gained market share for our clients or those that have developed a significant competitive edge, are the ideas that have come from sustained and consistent product research and planning. In our experience, the more you invest in proactive product development, the more wonderful ideas you uncover.

To generate new ideas in-house, we bring people together and conduct a series of Innovation Workshops with the specific purpose to uncover raw materials that can be developed into successful products.

 

Generating Great Ideas Requires Two Key Steps


In generating new ideas we use two key steps during our Innovation Workshops: 

Divergent Thinking

This method is free flowing and creative, allowing many ideas to be voiced and heard without judgement, exploring many possible solutions to the need we are solving in the marketplace.

Convergent Thinking

This stage involves more scrutiny of the ideas that came forward during the divergent thinking process, for evaluation and analysis. This second step allows us to select the best ideas to go forward with.

We take care to undertake these two activities sequentially and avoid evaluating ideas during the divergent idea generation stage. This is essential if we are going to get the best raw materials out onto the table. Switching between divergent and convergent thinking while brainstorming will prevent teams from succeeding in the creative thinking process. Divergent thinking means staying open without judgement to allow the birthing process of new ideas.  

The brain can be stimulated to produce innovation, or it can be inhibited to focus on problems only. 

Our Innovation Workshops are designed to take your team on a journey, to open up communication and establish the desire to innovate. We foster a productive environment and un-tap the creativity of your team. Workshops begin with left/right brain stimulation activities designed to get the creative juices flowing. We then launch into a series of creative thinking exercises focused on generating a volume of broad ranging ideas. During this stage, no idea is a bad idea. Following this we conclude the workshop by evaluating the ideas with the team in a group assessment exercise, which establishes the best ideas to go forward with.

As final decision making is best made with a smaller group of people, we complete the convergent idea evaluation process after the workshop with the key members of a team.

 


 

Workshops we provide

  • Divergent Idea Generation Focus Group
  • Left/Right Brain Stimulation Creative Thinking Exercises
  • Convergent Idea Evaluation Group Assessment
  • Go / No-Go Test Evaluation Matrix Feasibility Judgement

     



Find Out How We Can Help You Innovate

We’ll help you and your team navigate the unknown, and develop fresh and invigorating ideas to propel your business forward. Using our tried and tested process and team activities, let us help you take the next steps in innovation with product design and development. Call us on +61 3 9561 5810 for a confidential conversation about our Innovation Workshops and how we can work together.

Lucas Lastman
luc@whistledesign.com.au

An industrial designer with 15 years’ experience, working across a broad range of industries, from automotive, to consumer product, retail and packaging, to power tool and hardware. Lucas enjoys working directly with clients to facilitate the solution process and tackle challenges early on in the process.