Insight generation is the process of using various logical techniques to analyze data and develop a sound solution. Having a set of innovative ideation methods is crucial to the increasingly team-based tasks that businesses have to tackle. Try some of the most successful methods below, and see how efficient they can be for you.
1. Worst Possible Idea
Many work environments today can be risk-averse, and this, unfortunately, incentivizes employees to shy away from any “wrong” or “embarrassing” ideas. This is horrible! It prevents any truly brilliant ideas from being thrown out. The “Worst Possible Idea” is the solution. At the beginning of any brainstorming session, you encourage participants to throw out the craziest most impossible solution that they can think of.
For example, if the problem is to make people eat healthier in the office the “bad idea” could be anything from simply banning all sweets, to developing a robot that rolls around the office zapping sugary treats out of people’s hand with a laser. Let those creative juices flow.
2. The Post-It Method
The Post-It Method is a very helpful tactic for developing more concrete ideas for solutions once everyone in the office feels energized. To start off, all you need is a pen, a wall, and three different colored packs of post-It notes. On one color, you write general trends that you have noticed in society recently. Mark each individual idea with a letter. On the other, you jot down insights about your specific problem space. Label each of these with their own numbers. Finally, on the last color you will generate your solutions.
Give the team 20 seconds to pair one letter and one number together, and think of as many related solutions as possible. This can be an intense exercise, but the sense of urgency really helps the team to develop some interesting ideas.
3. Braindumping & Brainwriting
Oftentimes a team meeting can be a very intimidating experience, and members’ creativity can be stifled by the more domineering personalities in the room. These are some of the best ways to make sure that every team member feels comfortable to voice their opinions in the ideation process.
Braindumping consists of giving each participant a piece of paper on which they have an allotted time period to “dump” all of the solutions they have. The key is to not stop writing until the time is up. Then, you pass the paper on to the next teammate and restart the clock - allowing them time to add any comments they have to your original ideas. After each paper has been passed, the team can discuss the results and develop central themes.
4. Put your Thinking Hat on.
Finally. You have generated some impressive ideas. Now what?
This is where you can choose to put on some “Thinking Hats” to really find your top contenders. This activity involves 5 different colored hats—metaphorical or physical. At this point, your team will have already developed a list of potential solutions.
One teammate will be the mediator and read the first solution on the list. The next person will wear the “White” hat, and comment on the solution in relation to facts and data. The “Red” hat will then put the solution into perspective with feelings and intuition. Then, the “Black” hat outlines potential problems and difficulties, and “Blue” views it through the lens of management and potential action. “Green” runs with the idea and adds their own creative spin. The mediator should be taking notes on all of the different points of view, and present insights generated at the end of the discussion.