Generating Creative Ideas

Many of us don't have the resources or abilities to generate the creative ideas we need. This is especially true in the business world with its complex, ever-changing environments. Competitive pressures require faster delivery of new products and services. In short, businesses are pushed to innovate before the competition does. Failure to do so can yield even fewer creative responses—and less financial profit. The need to innovate is not limited to the corporate world, however. Service, government, and nonprofit organizations also can experience similar pressures to cope with changes in markets served or the regulations imposed on them.

Organizations cannot count on internal "creatives" or customer input to solve all their problems; even traditional group idea generation has its weaknesses. Brainstorming, as practiced in many organizations, is about as effective as consulting a crystal ball. Even experienced brainstorming groups find that the well runs dry after interacting with the same people year after year.

Most individuals and groups in organizations occasionally need a brainpower boost to achieve "home run" or breakthrough ideas. And they need a number of methods in their idea toolkits. The more methods they can employ, the greater the odds of producing a hot idea. This need is where organizational training can help.

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