ideation – īdēˈāSHən – noun
“The formation of ideas or concepts.”
[box options]In a post a few weeks ago I asked you, awesome readers, what post in my drafts folder you’d like to see materialize into a full blown post. You voted via your comments, and Why Men Make Breakfast got top honors.
A few runner-ups also peaked your interest along with a post originally titled “Ideation Marriage Vows.” So here she is, your requested post on ideas and marriage.[/box]
What is Ideation?
It’s the exciting part of creativity. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the part that is mostly fun, little work and gives you a rush.
- Ideation is brainstorming.
- Ideation is collaboration.
- Ideation is free form creativity.
Everyone wants the idea. Few want to work it out.
I’m fascinated with ideas, creativity and the process of bringing an idea or concept into a tangible form. It’s intriguing that as I sit here, my brain has things it wants to say, it forms those ideas into words, and my fingers put in on the screen in front of me.
“But what if it’s a bad idea?” you might say.
To which I might respond: how do you know it’s a bad idea?
Ideation and Marriage
During the brainstorming stage, there is no bad idea. There are only endless possibilities.
But also remember this: there is also no good idea.
You’re working with a team of 4-6 (Will Burns, founder of Ideasicle, has found four to be the magic number for a creative team). You’re searching out the possibilities for a project and are seeking to come up with dozens of ideas.
You mention your idea. Someone mentions she hates it. You’re shut down and so is your creativity.
You mention your idea. Someone says he loves it. Now your pride is married to it and there’s little opportunity to explore other ideas.
In the brainstorming stage try to not make any vows… yet.
Stay uncommitted. Be a bachelor for awhile while your carouse around with all the possibilities.
After several brainstorming sessions, you (and your team if you’re not flying solo) settle on the idea you feel would work best for what you’re looking to accomplish.
Fight the urge to control it. Just as control freaks make bad marriage partners the more we control our ideas and remain inflexible, the more the idea (or marriage) will suffer.
Conversely, the more we hold it loosely while remaining committed, the more the idea grows, morphs and and takes on different colors and shape.
Question: How do you brainstorm alone and with a team?