The materials presented on this LibGuide tab are derived Stephen Gates's podcast and podcast website, The Crazy One. If you are interested in ideation, please visit his site and interact with his materials on his site, including the podcast, show notes, and the "essentials" recommended resources.
Ideation is one part (a big part) of the larger practice of Design Thinking.
Wikipedia has defined ideation as:
The three phases of design thinking include:
These steps are not linear and can often double back to the previous phrase or overlap with the other phases.
It is very tempting to jump right in to the ideation phase because that's the fun and creative part of the process and you get to use lots of post-it notes and colored markers. Be sure to address the inspiration phase prior to practicing ideation to avoid having to go back to the drawing board. The inspiration phase is essential for context and data, providing you and your team what you need to successfully brainstorm ideas.
When it comes to the creative process and innovation, sometimes simple brainstorming may not do the trick. Practicing ideation can be just what you need to solve a problem, create a new product, process, or service. Using these tools on a regular basis can improve your team's thinking and help you be open to creative solutions.
Applications for ideation can include (but is not limited to):
Ideation should not be used for:
After you have already completed the inspiration phase (determined the true need and developed strategic initiatives) you can enter the ideation brainstorming phase.
According to Stephen Gates, ideation is the "...process for generating, developing, and selecting ideas." (The Crazy One Podcast, episode 8, "BRAINSTORMING: The 7 rules to running a better brainstorming")
If you have a clear strategy (strategic plan, problem statement) you can frame the brainstorming session and ultimately take your strategy and turn it into something you can work with.
After completing the inspiration phase you can frame the opportunity by crafting a powerful "How Might We..." question to frame the brainstorm.
Stephen Gates recommends the following steps for the ideation brainstorm process. Once you craft a strong "How might we" question, as a team brainstorm answers. (See the show notes on the podcast episode page for more details, or even better, listen to the podcast)
Michael Michalko, author of Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques, suggests framing your ideation with a "challenge statement."
Instead of a "How Might We" question (HMW), start with "In what ways might I..."
Spend time playing with your challenge statement, or "center the challenge."
Squeezing and stretching the challenge should help kick-start the ideation process.