The fast idea generator is an ideation technic that helps people change perspective on problems they see. I love to call this tool, the cheater tool to ideation as it gives a very structured way to solve problems.


You can get the Fast Idea Generator template on the DIYtoolkit

The tool proposes 9 ways to change perspective on a problem. The nine approaches are: 
  1. Inversion
  2. Integration
  3. Extension
  4. Differentiation
  5. Addition
  6. Substraction
  7. Translation
  8. Grafting
  9. Exaggeration

For each approach the tool has a little explanation and example. For example:

Inversion: Turn common practice upside down. The normal rule is "Doctors treat patients", so "What if patients became doctors?"

How to use the technic

I've used the fast idea generator in two ways in the past. You can just share the tool with the participants and they can use it as a cheatsheet during an ideation session.

Or you can decompose the tool in several shorter ideation session where you take one approach after the other. You basically would say: and now I want you all to come up with three ideas on how to do an inversion. 

To me it really depends about the skill level of the audience. If I'm working with people who have never done an ideation session or don't know shit about innovation or design, I prefer to break it down to not overwhelm them.

But for more seasoned people, they feel more empowered when you share with them the tool and let them play with it more freely.

Basics of Ideation for Innovation (Alpha version)

A future course teaching ideation theory and methods.

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