Need to get your team energised and thinking of game-changing ideas? Then, read on for our four easy steps to idea-generation and start your first tentative moves towards innovation. But first….
What is it BEAF does?
The first question I get asked. Always.
When I first founded BEAF, my idea was simply that I wanted to help businesses to bring new products to market. Now, we say, BEAF makes ideas happen.
For us, innovation means the pursuit of opportunity. It means identifying ways in which a business can find new revenue streams or service new audiences. It doesn’t always have to be a physical product, or even especially technical — sometimes it’s as simple as just finding a different way of working. We want to make innovation accessible to everyone, not just companies with huge R&D budgets.
Who does BEAF work for?
The second question I get asked. Always.
We are lucky enough to work with some incredible companies, some small, some huge. All of them share a desire to pursue new opportunities, and to make an impact in their industry – and, crucially, stay ahead of the competition.
And if you don’t work at Facebook, or Apple but work in a grey or boring industry – even better. You have the biggest opportunity to create massive impact*.
How does BEAF generate ideas?
Third question I get asked. Always*.
In short, we use innovation workshops.
You could contact us to deliver an ideas workshop for you, or you could hold your own. Here is a Blue Peter guide to holding your own.
1. Get your Ideas team together
Get pizza, Post-its, pens, pads, fruit, sweets, beers etc. Maybe hire a room at somewhere fun like a brewery (a little bit of alcohol can actually help you to generate ideas – but obviously don’t overdo it!).
2. Focus on your customers’ problems
Start with your customers’ problems. What are your customers trying to get done – how could you solve those problems quicker and more easily? Try creating some personas. Use our template if you want. (Download some customer persona templates from BEAF).
Just doing the above will start to spark off ideas, so make sure you capture them on Post-its or similar.
3. Use some idea generation techniques
Now you have identified your customers’ challenges, start to generate some ideas around solving those challenges. Maybe use some of these techniques. We personally love the use of hieroglyphics to spark some ‘not-so-obvious’ ideas.
4. Rank all the ideas
Put all the ideas you have generated on an ease-and-effect matrix, like the one below.
In a four-hour idea session, you should probably be aiming for between 50 – 100 new ideas.
The matrix will help you decide which ideas are easy to do and will generate the most impact, and which are too hard and will generate little impact.
Now you have some great ideas, you need to talk to an agency that can make those ideas happen…
As it happens, we are one of those agencies! And we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch on 01242 801 870 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book in a time to chat.
*Contact us if you are a cardboard box manufacturer. We’d love to work with you.