Brainstorming is great. But what comes next?

By Dr. Evans Baiya 4 minute Learn

There is nothing fairly as energizing as a well-run brainstorming session. After I work with shoppers on innovation tasks, the Ideation stage is one among my favorites. There is a definite power and creativity generated when a gaggle of individuals have come collectively to work towards fixing a standard downside. When concepts begin flowing with out constraint, nice issues are attainable.  

You possibly can consider innovation as an economic system of kinds—one which is tied to creating worth. Actual-world economies are pushed by foreign money, whether or not that is the greenback, peso, yen, or euro. In innovation, concepts are the foreign money. With out them, there’ll by no means be sufficient change to generate worth. This is why concepts are crucial for firm development and survival.

Progressive organizations have mastered the technology and development of concepts till they’re absolutely realized. The important thing is involving staff. Staff will all the time be extra engaged in innovation and thought administration after they know their concepts will really be heard and put to make use of. With these seven steps, you and your staff can create exponential worth from concepts, develop an innovation economic system, and grasp thought administration. 

Step 1: Generate Concepts

Technology of concepts—plenty of concepts—is a should. This is probably the most fundamental worth in your innovation economic system. It requires persistently setting apart time for your self and your staff to easily give you concepts. You wish to function like an Concept Manufacturing unit, continuously churning out concepts and inspiring others in your staff to take action too. Training thought technology strategies reminiscent of brainstorming, information sharing, artistic considering, and experimenting will assist make this a behavior and result in infinite concepts. 

Step 2: Seize Concepts

For each thought generated, there ought to be a spot to file it for future reference and analysis. Consider it as your Concept Financial institution. An thought doesn’t must be excellent, and, actually, concepts of their uncooked kind are higher. Attempt to keep away from prequalifying or perfecting concepts and easily work on the self-discipline of capturing them, regardless of the format. Some concepts could also be written, recorded, or sketched. Capturing concepts in several codecs is inspired so long as it may be understood and reviewed at a later time. Like my colleague Ron Worth all the time says, “You don’t need to say each thought is a fantastic one. You possibly can say, ‘That’s an thought—nice!’ ” There’s no such factor as a foul thought on this stage, solely misplaced concepts that result in misplaced worth.

Step 3: Talk about Concepts

This step is the primary publicity of concepts to others and the place the creation of exponential worth begins. In collaborating and conversing with others, you start investing and rising your thought. They could see the scenario from a unique perspective that can make it easier to broaden your view as effectively. Throughout this step, ideators even have an opportunity to elucidate the thought course of behind their unique thought and supply readability. It is vital on this step to pay attention and droop judgement on the concept’s worth for now. Dialogue typically results in the technology of extra concepts, so keep in mind to return to Step 2 and seize these new concepts in your Financial institution.  

Step 4: Enhance Concepts

Now is the time to guage concepts. From the collaboration that occurred in the course of the previous stage of debate, there ought to be a number of folks offering enter to enhance the unique idea. No thought mentioned stays the identical—exponential worth is added, and this is realized in the course of the enchancment stage. Your staff can now experiment with interconnecting, combining, substituting, subtracting, including, reversing and modifying a number of concepts or elements of concepts. The important thing ability right here is the flexibility to ask inquiries to problem the traditional understanding of the concept, to transcend the preliminary description and make it stronger.

Step 5: Arrange Concepts

Now that you’ve a holistic view of the probabilities, it is time to prepare your concepts for comparability. By clearly recording what the concept is all about, how the concept can create worth for the group or the person, which different concepts might contribute, which staff members might contribute, and the impression of the concept, you may create an Concept Portfolio to obviously see the worth of 1 thought versus one other.

Step 6: Consider Concepts

Together with your concepts organized, now you can consider an thought towards different decision-making metrics reminiscent of return on worth or return on expertise. This step is all about evaluating the concept earlier than committing to it—timing, scope, value, and profit ratio all ought to be thought-about. Negotiate and justify why the concept is value pursuing (or not value pursuing) compared to different concepts and priorities. In different phrases, this step is your choice framework for which concepts to prioritize. 

Step 7: Prioritize Concepts

This is the dedication stage for any thought. This is the place you create a mission constitution, staff, funds, timeline, and roadmap to truly work on the concept. With out this stage an thought dies or is misplaced within the proverbial forest. Prioritization is not simply permission to maneuver ahead, it is permission with a transparent plan. On this closing step, you not solely resolve to put money into the concept but additionally decide that your analysis yielded appropriate outcomes and your thought will create worth.

With these seven steps, your thought is prepared for motion and you’ll grasp thought administration—and, in flip, grasp profitable innovation. Skip any step, and also you threat shedding concepts and devaluing your innovation economic system.


Dr. Evans Baiya is an innovation strategist, writer, and speaker who helps corporations determine and develop new worth and scale their concepts. He is the coauthor of “The Innovator’s Advantage” and cocreator of The Innovator’s Advantage Academy, an in depth step-by-step innovation coaching.