By Finn Kollerup
It's an art, knowing how to ask the right questions. Because a good question can generate a massive amount of ideas. A known model within the subject of innovation is a funnel, being filled with lots of ideas. They are sorted and processed and end up creating x number of ideas. Once the ideas have been through the funnel, you're left with a few good ideas that you are able to work with. But in order to get here you must know how to ask the right questions.
Ask yourself: "What is it exactly I want ideas for?" If you want to achieve the biggest possible effect from the work, it's important that you get to the bottom of these considerations before idea production is initiated.
Example: You quit your job because you are sick of it. You are on the hunt for a new job. “How can I get a new job?” you ask. You talk to your friends and acquaintances from your network about it and you might get another job – one that looks so much like the old one which wasn't really what you were looking for.
You could have avoided that situation if you'd asked yourself an inspiring and attractive question. “How can I get my dream job?” Now, it is suddenly more interesting to start looking. You can also be even more ambitious and ask: “How do I get a chief executive position?” And even better, you can combine the two: “How can I get my dream job as chief executive within the next five days?”!! It is ambitious and also way too ambitious, perhaps even impossible, but that doesn't matter, because this is where the good ideas start to grow, and the burning questions awakens something in us.
Once you've learned to ask burning questions, you can begin to generate fantastic ideas.
Ideku® is a systematic and easy tool that helps you organize your ideas. The tool, which consists of an Ideku® board with Post-its, is built around a burning question from which there's room to make eight directions of ideas which can each have eight ideas attached. This leaves room for 64 ideas. All of the ideas are generated on account of the burning question. So it's very important to do the initial work and find the core of the problem at hand, to be able to use the ideas afterwards.
It's a well-known challenge to activate the ideas once all of them are on the board. What you have to do is stick to your ideas and use what came from the idea production. There are lots of different ways to document ideas. The idea process is documented through the use of concept platforms. As such there will be attached one or more concepts to the ideas you have developed.