What is Ideation-on-Demand?
Sparking Ideas for You
How does Ideation on demand work?
You identify your problem ............. and ............ We ideate a solution for you
How do we ideate?
First we frame up your problem in your environment – we will use a lot of visualization and brainstorming sessions to nail the solution. We brainstorm (a team of inventors) and we create diagrams. If the solution is a mechanical one, then we will visualize how it works and put it in an animated form for quick understanding. After that we will go and find more information about the technology (it could be a program) and go further in refining it to suit your industry. Then after everything is in perspective, we will post to you our solution in brief.
But before anything, it would require of you to lend us a fire: we will use your fire to spark of ideas.
Now let us explain what is that fire supposed to be: you will need to tell us what the problem that you are going to solve is – it could be a mechanical or digital problem. But before you even tell it to us, be very sure that it is a big problem for you as the solution will help you turn your company towards capturing bigger market share. Your problem might lead us to spark an idea that is conventional in thinking or it could be a disruptive solution – which might lead you to a whole new market. So you see the point of appointing us to do the ideation for you – it is the easiest path as you don’t need to crack your head!
When we talk about ideation or the creation of an idea, it is often taken as a dogma to create as many ideas as possible. However, it is often found that many of the ideas that are generated by a team of barnstormers are found to be duds! Then there is this problem of unknowingly going off course because people are often found going to the extent that they have forgotten what their original task is. In order not to be waylaid by inconsequential thinking, it is better to have a team of barnstormers that have the experience of useful ideating – as a means to cut down on time wasting. As for useful brainstorming practices are concerned, it would be best handed to a team that have very good knowledge of how the market works; we have a team of market experienced personals to do the hard crunching work for you. You will need a team of inspired tinkerers instead of a team of uninspired workers who were corralled (or forced) by the management to ideate.
Besides lending us a fire you will also need to feed us on what you do – and how do you go to market. This is because there will be a lot of bearing as to the way you go to your market. You will also need to feed us on your competitors so that we can create your business landscape – an analytics will be done on the profitability of your range of upstream and downstream products/services. We will also do a visualization of your product progression from our point of view – we will want to know of your long term plans if any. There will also be a need to size up your profit and lost margin so as to be able to ideate a plan to move up the scale. You would have realised that we are on the same boat - so we will need to really perform.
After which there will be further discussion between us and your innovation team. Then further refining and tweaking to suit your demand. And we call this Ideation-on-Demand – your demand and we create. The easiest way to achieve ideation without the hassles - get in touch with us!
But before anything else, we will do a market research on your product or service. The market research will be inclusive – that is it will give us a very good picture of your competitors and what they have to offer. Then we will have to know the price, where is it produced and how large a market. A good market research will also tell us what are the things that are coming up to the market; a sort of extrapolation of the future. That being said, nobody should go and ideate if they do not know what is going on in the market place, including us. So doing a market research is part of our job and not just any market research – an in-depth study of who is going to compete with who and at what price point. It is also important to know where it is produced because we do have a trade war going on for the foreseeable future. Where is it produced will impact the kind of decision that is going to be made as to whether it is viable to even start ideation.
In case you want to generate ideas from your group, then there is a proper way to go about it. The process of ideation is where you try to generate as much ideas as possible – that is the expert's position. But we would like to differ; because when there are too many ideas, we can't focus. Just like the saying 'too many cooks spoil the soup' which will prevent us from choosing the right ones to focus on. Ideas when formed are often in their raw form; that is to say it does not ring a bell. Ideas generated through brain storming sessions are even worse because there will be bias when going for further discussions. Obviously, the person who suggested the idea will have a negative bias on other's ideas. Then again what could you expect from people who were given a short time to come up with their idea? The right thing to do is to allow some time for the participants of a brain storming group to go back home to chew on the problem – say a month. After that, group them back in a friendly coffee session to further opine at the suggestions – each of them should put in paper their ideas and show how it works. This will be a more meaningful way of getting ideas – ideas that can work.
Better Brain Storming Techniques
How to maximise brain storming sessions?
Like every company, everybody is comfortable with brain storming or is it? No, not everybody is comfortable with doing brain storming, least of all are those who are inherently timid. Furthermore you can’t expect everybody to be able to come up with an idea during the session – the brain normally stalled when confronted with a problem. Didn’t you often hear of people requesting for more time to think about it? It’s true, the brain works better if it is allowed some time for digesting about a problem – so if you are going to demand (assuming that you are the manager) a solution within the hour, then you will get a half-hearted answer. What good is then a half-hearted answer? Furthermore that answer might affect the others into thinking that they might just burp out something that seems to be a viable solution but might not pass the test. However, there is another way to go about brain storming – as the brain normally go into recess but also capable of coming up with a solution whilst in its serendipity moment. The better solution will come when you group them (participants) in a chat group so that they can always message about something that they have just thought about –even in their dreams! So ideas coming from brainstorming is not the end game – allow it time for digestion and you will be surprised at the solutions thought out during those serendipity moments.
Ideation is a wide open environment. It is foolish to go about ideating without focusing – because you can’t be thinking about things that are not relevant to your course. As an enterprise will have something to focus on; like what are the things that you are selling. So if you were to command a brain storming session, you will need to be focus on relevant thing. As innovation is concerned, you will need to figure out just what you termed innovative. But if you were to engage someone to ideate for you, then that someone will have to go for a bigger picture – in order to figure out things that management have not thought off. A well verse knowledge of how the big world runs is not an option but a requirement – deep knowledge of how things work and how somebody sells it. In short, if you engage someone else outside your enterprise to go figure out that idea, that someone must have industry experience – and not anybody that looks green.
Put it in writing
People are good at talking about ideas. They normally would want to show their mastery, so they will talk as if they are the expert. However, ideation is not just talk – you will need to put in in writing and if possible moving diagrams. Now, one of the usual ways to drum up ideas is to form a team to brainstorm about the problem. But don’t do it the normal way – give them the problem and ask them to go home and think about it. Ideas need cooking and the more you cook, the better it is – you will be better off if you also put it in writing and put in diagrams to show its action. Better still, put it in power point presentation so that others can easily understand – if others can’t understand, then it means the ideation has failed. If however it is not good enough, ask the presenter to do it again, maybe this time with someone’s help.
Can we depend on analytics to help ideate?
Some time ago, there was this group of big data practitioners who imbibed that they can use data analytics to help ideate – but they failed because creation is a human intuition and cannot be churned out of a set of analytical terms. Fortunately, ideation is still the domain of the human mind not even with the fangled toys of artificial intelligence – and luckily for the human race, not everything can be derived from machines. However, we can still use analytics to cut down on the amount of data that we have to parse but should be aware that that there are huge amounts of very small data sets that are ignored by the machine algorithms which could be our ounce of gold. By human standards, just parsing small amount of data will help us ideate on innovations – it is a surprising trait of the creative person.
Most innovative companies do have a small team of thinkers sourced from its internal hierarchy as an effective means to better compete with their peers – having no such team will do harm to your branding effort. But it will come at a cost which might cost a bundle on the long run. There is however a fear that the in-house team will not achieve anything worth mentioning – the other fear is that smart people in the team will leave the company and go outside to form their own entity to create their own opportunity. This will inevitably bring about competition from a better source – better in terms of innovativeness and pricing. So outsourcing ideation is a better alternative as you can save on cost and you don’t have the angst of having somebody in your own court to despise you. There is also the benefit of having both your internal and external team working together in a cooperative mode for a better whole picture sort of thing.
Small Data Set is Best for me to be inspired
Ideation on demand is brought to you by Patentagentip
The art of being creative is to be able to focus on small data sets – focus on one by one and hope for inspirations. Ideation will take the same path, never too greedy to parse a huge volume of data search from external sources. That was what happens during the time of Alexander Graham Bell – there was no big data to confuse him during his journey to bring about the thing that we have to use – the telephone. In contrast to what we have now which is a huge volume of human generated data yet there is no significant increase of innovations. It is easy to create data but it is hell of a problem to create innovations – of course this is not what the data scientist wants you to belief. According to the data practitioners, you could generate anything you want with the just a click, what more with artificial intelligence at your fingertip! But in reality, if you want to ideate, it is best done one at a time – just pick anything and ask yourself why not be like this. You will be easily be inspired, not least - small data will beat big data handsdown, anytime.
Ideation is all about our ability to focus, unconsciously, on something, anything. It is just like when we are dreaming – we take just one thing, be it an image or a place and we go about evolving that thing to another thing or situation. Part of our unconscious mind will be influenced by our inner thoughts like fear and anger but it nevertheless will evolve into a new story line that we have no control of. Ideation takes the same path, albeit with an aim and in most of the time, we will also have no control of it – let it be what it wants to be. However, the ideation process will be disrupted once a new element comes into our thinking like for example we hear of a loud sound – which triggers us to change our thoughts to figure what it is. The ability of focusing on something is most probably a natural ability but we can always improve on it with practise. Then again, we can only focus better in an environment of quietude and you can see why it is not conducive to ideate in a group brain storming session – you have to allow team members to go home and think about it before they come back to discuss over it.
Ideation and the problem
All ideations starts with a problem – in other words if there is no problem then there won’t be a solution and by inference there won’t be an idea. But it is also important of how we see the problem. If we treat the problem as a problem then we would not want to solve it because there is a tendency to let others solve it. But if we treat the problem as a challenge, then it is most likely that we would want to take the challenge just as a way to know that we can do it – sort of an ego thing. You can actually know who among us will likely take the challenge because it is a character thing – the one that takes to hiding themselves and start giving good reasons as to why it could not be solved will be the one who will shirk off. But we should not allow the braves to take the challenge when we know that they do lack the technical knowhow to solve the problem – however if they do bring in others then there is a chance that they may help solve the problem. So you have to choose wisely when you form your brain storming team – do also pick those who are less noisy as they are often found to be a harbour of great ideas.
You might want to learn more about the importance of Innovation here