Why try and solve new problems with old ideas?

Few things are as effective as a great idea, well executed. Creative ideas solve problems, engage audiences and make a difference.

The trouble is the muse can be a mean mistress and the ideas don’t always come easily. But as UK’s most consistently awarded agency we have some trusted tools that help us deliver great ideas.

These have been created and curated from an intensive survey of the different tools, methods and principles of contemporary best practices. Here are a few principles we recommend to help you in your ideation along with a peek at a couple of our favorite tools.

Creative ideation principles: (How to have good ideas)

1. Start with self-generation:

Recent research into idea generation suggests that in many situations individuals isolated from the team, perform better creatively. When combined – you end up with more and better ideas across the team. Almost all of our creative generation exercises start with some form of what we call “solo ideation”.

2. Improve the group:

High performing groups produce a higher quality of ideas right? In reality, circumstance and human factors such as shyness or unfamiliarity often undermine optimal performance… We have a flexible structure to our workshops that draws on group dynamics theory to promote the organic growth of high-performing groups.

3. Discovery precedes briefing:

Instead of introducing people to the subject matter through the traditional means of a slide presentation, we encourage people to explore the subject both independently and as a team. Often, playful discovery unearths unexpected ways to think about a problem and points to surprising opportunities.

4. Push yourself with interval thinking:

Change of pace, tone and intensity of creative exercises is a great way to push your mind into new spaces. When constructing workshops, we often alternate between set periods of mapping/rational exploration and creative idea generation.

5. Use the right tool at the right time:

Many agencies use just one standard methodology to produce ideas. This industrial approach puzzles us. All ideation tools are not created equal. We have a wide-range of ever evolving tools we’ve come to love, trust and improve on. The art is pulling out the right technique at the right moment.

It’s hard to choose, but here are four of our favourites:

Prior 10

Ten probing questions focused on changing the dynamics of organisational change, to help you look at your situation creatively.

Ecosystem mining

A panoramic look at the interconnected world of your brand, uncovering new opportunities and encouraging fresh ideas.

Random juxtapositions

A slot machine for ideas, using your idiosyncrasies to combine elements in new ways with a mind-expanding effect.

Iconic heroes and villains

You may see yourself or your brand as a hero, but precisely what sort of hero are you? And who are your adversaries?