This was used as a means of trying to come up with new ideas and to develop the already generated ones. First, groups were formed and assigned facilitators whose task was to write down the ideas and ensure everyone is involved. At this stage, it is important to keep an open mind as well as encourage the group members to share their ideas no matter how absurd they can be. The ideas were not detailed, and it is easy to get a range of about twenty to thirty business ideas (Peterson et al, 2010).
Convergent thinking is applied in trying to come up with business ideas. In this case, many facts are put across although one right answer is sought. The reasoning brings the groups together, and the different ideas merged to come up with one major thesis. Convergent thinking can for instance be used to identify solutions to a problem like pollution due to unfriendly energy sources or other sources. Examples were drawn from the introduction of airplanes covered with layers of new generation ultra-thin solar cells which can produce constant energy with reduced pollution or all types of transport (cars, busses, trains, ferries) be covered with solar panels and Co powered by solar energy.
Some other examples of brainstorming tools used included the Imagineering process. This concept involves picturing an image of the perfect situation and identifying what needs to be done. This is a vital step in that it helps open up people’s minds to identify perfect situations, which do not exist but are supposed to exist (Souter et al, 2007). The Imagineering concept also seeks to visualize the gap between the perfect image and the real image. Having done this, the task of coming up with ways to bridge the gap helps in improving the creativity of business ideas.
Reversal is another mode of brainstorming through which creative thinking can be facilitated. This concept revolves around asking questions, which are the exact opposite of what you want, answered. An example can be a question such as ‘how the sun can be used to reduce global warming’. The answer to this can be either using cells to cool the world or somehow reduce greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, a way to distribute heat over the world and reduce the effects of global warming or even using the sun to let more trees grow and thus help eliminate the CO2 in the air.
Having drawn the agendas of what is meant in business, the question of forming focus statements to guide in clear acknowledgement of set goals was addressed after which words like solve, refine, determine, develop, explore, research among others were used to project a clear image of the idea and what it aimed at achieving. Having drawn the focus statement, brainstorming the idea came in handy. This was done easily through creating groups involving a facilitator who records all ideas generated by members. Effective brainstorming includes allowing all kinds of ideas even if they may be absurd (Peterson at al, 2010). Through brainstorming, the following ideas were introduced i.e. to switch the problem to a positive focus and including a qualifier which would simply be inform of a question-why you are doing it (Nast, 2006).
Provocation is another tool of brainstorming. This idea works through asking a deliberately stupid question relating to the problem you are focused on. Provocations helps reveal the creativity aspects after putting on hold the judgment of new ideas are started. We should produce as much CO2 as possible’ is an example of a stupid statement in provocation that can be used to provoke creative thinking towards combating problems associated with excessive CO2 in the air. In provocation, other questions such as the consequence of the statement, circumstances that would make the solution sensible and what would happen if the sequence of events was changed are also encouraged to improve the creation of new better ideas (Maslin, 2007). For instance, if law to put solar cells on every roof mandated the government, what would be the benefits, what distinct circumstances would make it a sensible solution and what would happen if a sequence of events were changed? Are basic questions that should be considered in this context of provocation? Having brainstormed a series of ideas, two major ideas are highlighted.
The business ideas
Creating a mobile application
This idea was aimed at creating a mobile application for teenagers. It would be make it possible for them to identify where their friends are, and would suggest a healthy place to eat which is central, and they can get to by bicycle.
Tackling global warming
This was the first business idea generated which was redefined as a quest to reverse the effects of global warming as well as trying to minimize the occurrence rate. Global warming effects, which can literary e referred to as excessive green house gases in the atmosphere is one idea through which a business can be developed. This can be achieved through focus statements such as how to slow down the problem or generally how to combat the problem. Through such redefining, the task of establishing focus statements and organizing brainstormed ideas was made easier (Maslin, 2007).
Mind mapping and position of the business
Mind mapping of the business position basically involves exploring a concept of building a business that is aimed at combating the issue of global warming. It could also include the idea of slowing down the process through various activities. In this step, of creating business ideas, key word are used is well as strong action words and nouns to form the chapter headings of the proposal (Nast, 2006). Chapter headings are like main branches and should contain simple key words for clarity and simplicity. Stupid words and thoughts are also entertained at this stage although editing follows later.
Six hat analysis of the ideas
Under the hat analysis, six concepts are expounded and help us look deeper into the business ideas generated. First there is the blue hat thinking that deals with problem definition? Global warming, in this case, is defined as production of CO2 in more quantities than the earth is capable of dealing with. The challenge here is to try and come up with solutions to this or rather a way of slowing down the processes leading to global warming.
Second, is the red hat thinking analysis on hunches and feelings that solely examines the feelings of the end user towards the idea? Hunches and feelings are basic in the creation of business ideas in the reasoning that one’s ideas are never too different from others, and in the case where solutions to problems are to be created, creativity is vital and feelings such as passion can boost the success of the efforts (Souter at al, 2007).
After the red hat, thinking comes the green hat that is aimed at investigating the market trends and research. This stage seeks to investigate data, figures and market size for the alternative means of production that is pollution free such as solar cells. Use of solar cells slows down CO2 emission, which in turn slows global warming. The third hat analysis examines the chances of success of the idea.
Green hat thinking analyses the value and modes of brainstorming. In the case of global warming tackling, brainstorming tools such as reversal and provocation are important in developing the generated ideas. Reversal was done through paying people to use solar energy systems and, therefore, create awareness of a kind to the alternative source of energy through the solar system (Souter at al, 2007). Provocation was used in through asking questions in relation to provocation in context to introduction of solar cells as friendly sources of energy for the government.
Having done this, harvesting of the brainstormed ideas was done through the harvest tools like affinity diagram. What ideas are similar or which ideas are interconnected are examples of ways through which similar ideas are identified. At this stage, the absurd ideas are edited and simple solutions put in place in accordance to the business idea (Drummond, 2009).
The yellow hat thinking follows in place, and it is at this stage where the opportunity of success is evaluated. The merit of the idea is discussed under four Timmons anchor, which includes the significance of the solution to the end user in this context the value of solar cells to people and the environment. Whether the problem removes a pain or meets a significant need, in which case pollution especially excessive CO2 in the air is addressed. The step also evaluates the financial feasibility of the idea and finally if the rewards justifies the risks to venture into the introduction of the solar cells as alternative energy sources.
Finally, the black hat thinking is included in the evaluation in which case the drawbacks to the idea are examined and diagnosed. This step involves closer look at the four essential Timmons anchor i.e. drawbacks to improving significance to the end user, whether it removes an issue for which someone is willing to pay, is it financial convenient? Finally, whether it justifies the risks one is willing to take through the results of its implementation (Drummond, 2009).
On the second idea, on creation of mobile application, the first hat thinking analysis involves the defining and redefining if the challenge and the idea expounding. In this case, creation of an application for the teenagers that identify where their friends are also suggest a healthy place to eat where they can get by bicycle does it for the defining purposes.
This task is followed by the red hat thinking that focuses on hunches and feelings of the end user towards the product. Teenagers’ attitude towards the application is an important consideration since they are the main market providers for the product. White hat thinking later follows in whereby the size of the market, data and figures are presented after research and conclusions drawn about whether the application is capable of being successful by being purchased by the teenagers. A fourth step is the green hat thinking that includes brainstorming. This is vital for the purposes of developing new and better ideas towards solving the might be drawbacks to the application success. Various brainstorming tools such as reversal and provocation can also be used in this process (Souter at al, 2007).
Having brainstormed the new as well as developing the already present ideas, harvest tools such as the affinity diagram is incorporate in the process to edit the ideas and to introduce the harvested ones. The researchers conducted in a white hat thinking as well as the figures are used to support the developed ideas to enable successful harvesting. The yellow hat is then involved in analyses of the idea in which case the merits of the application are evaluated and presented in clear forms through identifying significance to the end user (teenagers), whether the application removes a problem or a pain, whether it is financial favorable also if the rewards justifies the risks. In this process, the application capabilities to suggest eating place and identify where their friends are, are significant values to the success of the application.
Of the two ideas, through personal intuition, the probable idea would be tackling global warming since basically, global warming is one of the global issues being addressed almost everywhere. Through introduction of a business idea that focuses on alternative modes of production, and the problem of excessive CO2 in the air, there are higher chances of success compared to creating a mobile application (Peterson at al, 2010).
The process of generating these new ideas can be demanding since it involves complete participation of each group members in the process of brainstorming as well as proper presentation of the vast ideas generated. The first approaches in identifying a possible business idea are evidently the formulation of both defining and focus statements. This statement helps in guiding through the establishments of the business and developing new ideas (Drummond, 2009). The whole process generally incorporates all aspects of business including the research aspects and market availability. It also addresses the issue of what the business intend to achieve for instance to remove a pain or to solve an issue.
Following this process, it is obvious that the chances of business success widely depend on proper analysis. Such processes as this are vital and deliver reliable information, which should guide anyone towards idea generation.
Drummond, H. 2009. How to Be a Successful Entrepreneur: Spot the Opportunity, Take a Risk and Build a Brilliant Business. London: Kogan Page Publishers.
Maslin, M. 2007. Global Warming: Causes, Effects, and the Future. United States: MBI Publishing Company.
Nast, J. 2006. Idea Mapping: How to Access Your Hidden Brain Power, Learn Faster, Remember More, and Achieve Success in Business. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons publishers.
Peterson, S. Jaret, P. & Schenck, B. 2010. Business plans kit for dummies. United states: For Dummies publishers
Souter, N. & Billout, G. 2007. Creative Business Solutions: Breakthrough Thinking: Brainstorming for Inspiration and Ideas. New York: Sterling.