What is Ideation? Advantages, FAQs

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What is Ideation?

Ideation refers to the process when ideas are generated on one or more topics in a creative and open environment. This method is impactful and it can be applied to any stage of development. 

Ideation is often a non-judgemental process to put forward ideas for new product concepts. Moreover, it also helps to eliminate development issues and overcome market challenges. 

The aim of ideation is to welcome free-flowing thoughts and ideas and consider the ones which may even seem absurd, novel, or strange because they have the potential to boost innovation. 

Ideation sessions can benefit product teams to not only stimulate creativity, but also to combine and collaborate each other’s ideas, which is a slight change from their everyday workflow and environment. 

However, there is a need for a slight structure to any ideation session so that everyone knows what is the aim and the problem to be solved. The target audience and their issues should also be kept in mind while brainstorming ideas. 

Before starting an ideation session, there needs to be an ice-breaker to make some way for uninhibited ideas and take the stress of coming up with good ideas away. To enable this, the ideation session can be started with the “worst possible idea” to welcome absolutely any ideas. Visual aids, brainstorming ideas, linking words/ideas, and playing games are known to encourage higher creativity.

What are the key advantages of ideation?

Usually during ideation sessions, critical thinking is not the priority until a later stage. Ideas are not criticized or analyzed at the initial moment where all suggestions are welcomed, no matter how irrelevant or absurd they might be. 

The inner critics need to be silenced for a while because they might hamper creativity and quantity is prioritized over quality. The more ideas are encouraged during an ideation session, the more potential solutions and choices you have to choose from. 

An ideation is a safe space where team members are likely to suggest solutions even if they think it won’t work. Irrespective of whether or not that turns out to be true, discussing these ideas can trigger creative solutions among other listeners. Thus, it unlocks new options and takes a step closer to making a positive impact in the development process. 

During such creative thinking sessions, the team need not be limited to the team members. Members from other teams can also be welcomed to bring diverse perspectives and worldviews to the table. This can help to come up with a variety of ideas. 

New bonds and valuable collaborations are formed during ideation sessions. Such a relationship can enhance fruitful results for the future of the company. It can cause departmental barriers to shade off and creates a cohesive work environment in the company. 

How can Product Teams benefit from Ideation workshops?

Ideation sessions are usually focused on embracing creativity and brainstorming new ideas, but in an organized way. The meeting space should be away from regular work space and there should be a fixed time allotted for the same. 

When the setting for the session is away from the workspace, it prevents distractions and allows participants to relax and enter into a different mindset. This helps to mentally dedicate the allotted time to the fruitful ideation session.

Someone should be put in charge of making a brief opening statement to set the tone of the session and make sure that the goal is clear to everyone. 

It is crucial to reaffirm everyone that there are no bad ideas and each idea only serves to promote better ideas in an ideation session. Thinking critically can hamper the flow and ideas that are valuable could be gone unspoken. 

When people from outside the team are invited to ideation sessions, they can help to understand the insights from target users. The additional staff can be from teams such as sales, marketing, customer care and support, etc. 

FAQs

Q: What is an ideation session? 

A: Ideation refers to the process when ideas are generated on one or more topics in a creative and open environment. This method is impactful and it can be applied to any stage of development. It is often a non-judgemental process to put forward ideas for new product concepts.

Q: What are the top advantages of ideation sessions?

A: Ideation sessions can help to silence our inner critic to enable free-flowing creativity. It helps to foster creativity for the benefit of the company. Moreover, team communication and collaboration can be enhanced due to such sessions. Creative solutions can be found for a particular concern in the company through ideation. 

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