Better Inventions Require Better Ideas
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In this piece, I share with you a summary of the key components of Quantum Idea Generation 2.0. This is the most powerful proven idea generating process. Brainstorming is archaic and dumb – it can actually produce fewer ideas than sitting down by yourself and writing ideas on paper. In future months, I focus on each of the four elements that drive the success and power of Quantum Idea Generation 2.0.
At my inventing company, Innovate2Grow Experts (i2ge.com) our team of highly successful Professional Inventors always uses Quantum Idea Generation to generate the ideas that help companies double their innovation success rate. We have used Quantum Idea Generation to invent well over 25,000 concepts that has produced many, many successful new products, including many that have achieved your one sales of over $100 million.
Doug Hall of Eureka Ranch pioneered this idea generation method. For a period of time, Eureka Ranch was a superstar in the innovation business. Doug and I worked together as brand managers at Procter & Gamble. When he left to found Eureka Ranch, we stayed in touch and I have been to Eureka Ranch several times.
Doug is an engineer by education. As a result, he loves metrics. He did lots of experimenting and measuring of idea generation results before arriving at version 1.0 of what I call Quantum Idea Generation. When all the metrics said he had a very powerful and reliable way of producing many ideas, especially many high-quality ideas, he put the method into quantitative research. Over the years, Oklahoma State University conducted two paired comparison research studies. Both studies concluded that version 1.0 produced 12 X more ideas than brainstorming.
Innovate2Grow Experts team experimented and eventually developed Quantum Idea Generation 2.0. While we have not conducted quantitative research on 2.0, our experience clearly suggests that it regularly produces about 20 X more ideas than brainstorming. Version 2.0 significantly strengthened each of the four elements that drive these powerful idea generating results.
Far more importantly than just the large quantity of additional ideas, the biggest advantage in Quantum Idea Generation (versions 1.0 and 2.0) is that it consistently produces many, many more high-quality ideas than brainstorming. In fact, the quality of ideas produced by Quantum Idea Generation is dramatically higher than brainstorming and you get ideas from this method that you would never get from brainstorming.
Summary: the Four Elements Powering Quantum Idea Generation 2.0
Both versions of Quantum Idea Generation are powered by four elements working in a tightly integrated manner. While each of the elements on their own can significantly outperform brainstorming, their true power is experienced when a creative session leverages all four elements.
While each of these elements will be covered in individual detail in future articles, here’s a brief introduction to these four elements.
- Diversity: in a creative session you want a wide range of diversity. What kinds of diversity? Many kinds. You want to include internal and external expertise. The internal expertise should be people from different functions like research and development, marketing, consumer insights, finance, supply chain, and others. You want the right kind of external expertise. These are people who have relevant expertise to the inventing need, but the expertise does not duplicate the internal expertise.
- Stimulus: into a creative session, you want to share with the group words and pictures that are relevant to the inventing need. This can be words and pictures about how other people around the world are solving a similar need. It can be words and pictures that inspire people to make initial good ideas into great ideas. There is an amazing idea generation power with stimulus.
- Left/Right Brain: we are all about equally creative. It is absolutely a myth that you are either are born creative or not. Sometimes, we think right brain people (think emotionally, unconventionally, and without much structure) are naturally creative. Left brain people are equally creative to right brain people. Having said that, they develop their best ideas in very, very different ways than right brain people.
- No Fear, Only Fun: very simply, fear kills creativity. Conversely, fun consistently inspires some of the biggest ideas. There are proven methods in a creative session about how to eliminate fear and create a powerful sense of the right kind of fun.
Clients and Quantum Idea Generation 2.0
In our work with clients, when they want to invent ideas for any need, we use Quantum Idea Generation 2.0. Clients we have worked with previously insist this method. Potential new clients are very intrigued by the long record of success and how different and better it is than other methods they have used.
Basics of a Quantum Idea Generation Creative Session
In the inventing sessions we run, we typically have 12 to 20 people in the session. These people work at roundtables in groups of four. The groups of four are very carefully chosen on a range of criteria that result in high levels of compatibility between the people in the group.
There is a very detailed almost minute-by-minute plan for the creative session, which can last from one to three days. The plan includes elements like a sequencing of steps necessary to learn the business, getting on the same page with the most important consumer insights, and the extensive stimulus library needed for each inventing exercise.
Throughout the entire process, there is an ongoing metrics program to ensure we are generating the quantity and quality of ideas necessary to deliver the client’s objectives.
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Richard Haasnoot has spent most of his career in and around innovation – senior leader at Procter & Gamble and Gallo, professor at Arizona State University, author of six books, and a successful entrepreneur in the innovation and creativity business. He’s a regular podcaster. Check out i2ge.com and bluesagecreative.com. Follow him @Innovate2Grow