Whether it is your business you are trying to change or your life, you need idea generation techniques to come up with new and novel ideas to get different results. Now of course there are hundreds of techniques and approaches. However in my opinion, there are 5 brilliant techniques that are particularly effective. The 5 techniques are listed below and it is important to note that each one of these is a standalone techniques that can suffice on its own or work in combination with each other.
1- Think of something that can radically change your business or your circumstances
Ok so it is change you want but thinking routine change isn’t exciting or motivating enough. Try thinking about something really different – maybe even extreme or miles outside of the box – to force you to think differently. Initially this may produce a set of ideas that seem wacky at first but with some refinement and adjustment, this might lead to some really interesting and do-able possibilities.
2- Think of something you can eliminate from what you do to get different results
Reducing what you do to something simpler can sometimes produce amazing results. This could be a product with trimmed down features, a productivity plan with fewer goals but more focus, etc. A classic example of this is a software application called Basecamp that has become extraordinarily successful by reducing the number of features (bloatware) to come up with a really user-friendly project management system.
3- Think of something you can add to what you do to get better results
This is the inverse of the previous technique and can produce some really interesting ideas. This does not have to be some earth-shattering new addition; it can be perhaps just an incremental improvement. Examples of this could be something as simple as a personal thank you note to your customer after each purchase, adding push ups to your exercise routine or deciding that you will have an extra glass of water each morning for better hydration.
4- Think of what you will be like and doing 10 years into the future
Instead of just thinking about next month or the next 6 months, think about substantial change that happens over years. How will technology change? What trends will change? How will lifestyles change? No one has the ability to predict the future accurately but you might be able to envision what you need to do now to succeed in the future. For example, organizations that are in the learning business will need to work with mobile learning and e-learning or face possible extinction. For those in middle age, thinking about how you will finance your retirement 10 years later will help to shape the way you think about saving now.
5- Think of what other successful companies or people are doing and learn from them
It is not necessary to imitate or copy what others do because you have to chart your own course for yourself or your organization. However it is always smart to learn from best practice. After all, what is the point of reinventing the wheel? Get yourself a mentor or a coach. Talk to companies who have struggled with issues similar to yours and find out how they fixed these issues. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to ask others for help and advice.