Strong ideation can take many forms, and involve many different techniques and approaches. Knowing which methods to use for certain types of innovation initiatives and problems can be a challenge. Some methods are well suited for complex technical challenges, while others are better suited for aesthetic or form challenges. Some approaches work reasonably well on an individual basis, while others are most effective in a group setting. I will devote a series of posts to discussing various ideation techniques I’ve found effective, how to do them, and when to use them.
The second ideation method I will discuss is a technique I call ‘image inspiration’. The basic concept of image inspiration is to present unusual or thought provoking images to inspire creative thought and to push participants to contribute ideas outside of their normal thinking on the subject. The goal of the exercise is to get several ideas on paper, either in text of sketch form.
Methods. There are several methods that work well for this technique, and you should adjust the methodology based on the personality of the group and the subject area of your ideation. For any method, the facilitator should introduce the problem/challenge and pace the event. Remember to focus on generating a large quantity of ideas, and use a timer to instill a sense of urgency for participants to create ideas quickly.