Idea Generation Tools

 

 

This is an abstract – for the full paper click on the link 

Tools_for_Finding_Solutions

Approaches for thinking outside the box

To understand how to think outside the box we need to understand why we have a box in the first place. The box is a metaphor for our mind set or mental map it enables us to create consistent and reliable patterns for our life and helps us make decisions based on previously learnt information. It is true to say that the box is there for a reason and life without it would be a form of chaos. The box however does not help us in generating new solutions as it is based on the past not the future. To generate ideas we must break out of the box and enter uncharted territory which may seem strange and challenging.

Idea generation techniques provide us with a mechanism for leaving the box and seeking new perspectives on issues that may face us and our business. They are by their nature different approaches to thinking that lead to different perspectives and that’s were our own mental box can get in the way as we may feel uncomfortable with the approaches themselves. The enemies of idea generation are premature judgment / mind set and ego. To truly create something new we must ensure that these barriers do not provide a comfortable set of locks that keep us truly inside the box.

The methodologies outlined in this section are

  • Brainstorming
  • Meta Planning
  • The thinking environment
  • Mnemonics and checklists
  • Analogies and Paradoxes
  • Rich pictures
  • Four way thinking
  • Random Association

These different approaches will be appropriate in different situations however two factors should be considered when choosing an approach

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