10 Tips to successfully generate innovative ideas

Innovation starts with having good ideas and ideally a lot of them. Organizations cannot just sit around and wait for a stroke of luck to happen. They need to actively, continuously and systematically generate ideas to fill their innovation pipeline. Getting started is actually much easier than you’d think. Here are 10 tips to start building your pipeline of innovative ideas today.

#1 – Take time – People schedule time for things that they find important: for meetings, for having dinner with friends or for their favorite hobbies. Strangely enough, they hardly ever free up time for thinking. Schedule thinking time in your agenda: this is as much an activity as having a business meeting. And maybe even more important.

#2 – Change location – Business creativity and innovative thinking are all about new perspectives and breaking away from what we think we know. In this case it means very literally to change your physical location. Leave your office or your place of work and go somewhere else where you are freed from everyday (work)life and will not be disturbed. Doing things the same way as we have done them before will not lead to a different outcome.

Focus

#3 – Have focus – In most cases, thinking without direction will not lead to anything. Either your thoughts will be all over the place, or you will experience a form of mental paralysis facing a blank sheet. It is bound to become a disappointing experience. You must scope the domain that you want to work on; box it in, fence it off. Is it a specific product or one of the product’s components? Will you be working on your channels or your customer relationships? It doesn’t matter how you scope it, as long as you constrain your thinking by having a specific focus.

#4 – Think big – People tend to be modest in their thinking which results in equally modest ideas. Innovation is about creating value for your business. Don’t think too small: stretch your imagination and think big. Don’t be shy. And even if your big idea isn’t right, the chance of finding a valuable small idea hidden inside it is much bigger than the other way around. Plus, it’s much easier to scale down a big idea than to scale up a small idea.

#5 – Collaborate – How different are the ideas you […]