Building on ideas



noun – the formation of ideas or concepts – which in this case is also used as a verb to generate many ideas from which something great may come.

Ideation, whether by yourself or in a group is fun up to a point and then gets really hard as we all start to engage in moderation. During a brainstorming or ideation session with yourself or a group we want to solve a problem. We want to be the smartest or best and have the one idea that truly shines – which causes a great amount of anxiety.

You can watch it in a room of people – when the session begins ideas are flowing and everyone is having a great time. Then one person doesn’t finish their sentence (self moderation) or has a reason as to why the previous reason is absurd and definitely won’t work (moderation of others).

During the ideation session the name of the game is volume or divergent thinking (see the double diamond method). These many ideas which no matter how far fetched or possibly ill suited – can land on the board and become a catapult for someone to build upon and hopefully create something great. For example; if you feel that something is ill suited for this cause then it will automatically help bring focus to your thoughts, or make you think of a idea as the antonym of the first idea you were criticising.

Once you have many ideas that are available, everyone (group scenario, or peers for individual) has an opportunity to pick favourites to help prioritise the most important/beneficial/logical solutions to move onto the next round of design, which will again be validated.

To help out with this psychological phenomena which you know will occur; you can employ the principal/method called ‘yes and’ not ‘no but’ where by setting the stage to begin with – people will be aware that this will happen, and what to do when this happens. To build on it – and make something great.

Here is the best way I’ve seen to represent that idea and the benefits that can come from it. Using storytelling and real emotional examples that people can relate to. I know its an ad, but if you can get past it – it’s a story well told.