Ideation and Problem-Solving

A problem is always solved with ideas. There are a lot of problems for which we already know the solutions but have you ever thought where did those solutions come from? No matter who, years or decades or centuries ago, came up with those solutions, but what matters is how they came up with the solutions. It was, is, and will always be through the generation of ideas that the human brain has been capable of solving the hardest of problems.

Ideation is also known as idea generation. This is the process in which you use a couple techniques to constantly come up with innovative ideas that may prove to be of any help to you. 

Let’s take a deeper look at some ideation techniques and how they work.

1. SPEED

SPEED is one of ideation techniques which is an acronym for:

S → Study: This step requires you to analyze your problem, the objective for solving it, and your understanding of the problem. It would be helpful to ask the questions: Why do you want to solve this problem? What’s the goal behind solving it? How is this problem-solving going to benefit you? How much understanding do you hold for the details of this problem?

P → Possibilities: This step needs you to ask yourself the question: What could be the different ways to solve this problem?

E → Extract: After you have considered the various possibilities for solving this problem, you have to take out the ideas you could use as solutions. You can even merge together two or more solutions. At this point, you have to decide which idea you would use first.

E → Enhance: No idea promises you good results. There will be ideas that bring both benefits and difficulties. At this stage, you’ll work on modifying the ideas in a way to eliminate difficulties and reap benefits.

D → Do: What are the additional and next actions that you think should be taken to ensure that your problem is solved?

2. Brainstorming

Brainstorming is one of the idea generation techniques that most people use for solving their problems. We are always brainstorming throughout the day for even the smallest of the problems we come across however, we just fail to recognize it in daily life. 

Brainstorming sessions for your business problems can be conducted at specific times and with selected people where all of you begin to analyze the problem at hand and start thinking about its background. 

For instance, your employees have started arriving late at work. You’ll, first, understand the background details of the problem such as who or what departments are facing this issue the most? SInce when has it been happening? How can it be solved? Why do you need to solve this? Questions like these will help you in kick starting the flow of ideas.

Make sure that every participant notes down their ideas on a piece of paper. Duration of the session depends on how early you come up with a suitable and viable idea. If the session stretches long enough, mini breaks can be taken. At the end of the session, you’ll discuss your ideas and feel free to combine two or more ideas to create an ever stronger and suitable solution.

3. Opposite Thinking

This technique is easily understood as “questioning the status-quo”. In this method, you question the long-held techniques and assumptions in your organization and management processes.

This technique is primarily focused on thinking outside the box and generating ideas that are the exact opposite of the status-quo or norms. In the digital world. unconventional practices sometimes create major business problems. Although opposite thinking mey feel hard because your brain initially may not support this way of thinking, doing this will eventually help you generate innovative ideas.

4. Analogy Thinking

Another easy and smart way of generating ideas is analogy thinking. You might have noticed or been in situations where a solution to one problem can be used for another problem. This is what analogy thinking is.

If your business is facing a problem, you can research and analyze other relevant businesses in the industries to see how they solved that particular problem. This is one of the most used techniques across industries because it helps you come up with new ideas that are already validated. Sometimes doing so will help you think outside the box and come up with an even efficient and smart solution.

Although this sounds really easy and interesting, such solutions can lead to strong competition in the market. If not implemented legally, it can also create some serious legal problems.

The above-mentioned ideation techniques are practiced by people and companies across the world. We strongly recommend you to find a business problem and begin practicing these techniques one by one. Good Luck with the upcoming ideation assignment!

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