Why ideation is so important

“The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results.” Einstein reportedly said. Though solutions that have only contributed to the development of problems will not help overcome them. Significant Ideation helps to find new solutions that didn’t have a hand in creating the problem.

Objectives of the Ideation Process

The Ideation Phase’s objective is to generate as many ideas as possible and create the best solution images. Ideation is the process of developing a broad set of views on a given topic. The ideation process offers the chance to develop and explore ideas and even detect incredible opportunities. At this stage, there is the Double Diamond, and its divergent thinking to remember. Divergent thinking is about an open mindset that helps to think beyond traditional solutions. 

The term Ideation is a combination of two words – Idea and Solution. Developing the very best solution is the goal of a successful Ideation phase. This aim is significantly supported by integrating diverse perspectives into the Ideation process. A multidisciplinary team whose members contribute different strengths best ensures this and provides options for unexpected perspectives to emerge. Ideation workshops offer an opportunity to bring together people with various backgrounds and experiences – marketing, sales, account managers, engineers, and, of course, designers. The advantages of integrating diverse perspectives into the ideation process in this way seem apparent. In the end, it is not rocket science that, of course, only those who can contribute to the development must have been involved in it.

However, it is not that evident that creating the desired effects does not arise by chance, nor is there any automatism. Certain framework conditions must be met to generate the desired and targeted benefits from this co-creation approach. And this problem can be found wherever a creative process is to be stimulated through the composition of multidisciplinary teams. Therefore, the problem is not limited to the Ideation Phase but can be found similarly in the Problem Framing Phase. The described phenomenon has been proven in various studies.  

Guidelines for Ideation help to achieve outstanding Results

ideation sessions are hugely beneficial to the design process. They provide an opportunity to focus on a defined use case and the user experience to optimize it. To concentrate on the users and their specific needs, building on the insides gained in the problem framing phase is the benefit to take from the ideation phase. A key success factor for Ideation is to leverage the dynamics of a group process. The highest innovation potential occurs when the setting allows thinking beyond the apparent approaches. Therefore, it utilises various perspectives. This leads to new opportunities to think outside the box and discover many different facets of a potential solution. Focusing on quantity over quality encourages freedom and creativity and leaves participants open to bold ideas. Ultimately, this is what leads to innovation.

And at least one specific characteristic that should be reached out for is an outstanding atmosphere, allowing everybody to let their thoughts flow. There is no risk of generating a silly idea since there is an opportunity in any view. The confidence that there are no limits and criticism will open the room for creativity and producing an incredible set of options. One of the decisive prerequisites, however, is the ability to build trust among the team members. Of course, it is even better if this is the case from the outset. Trust is the all-important basis without which a straightforward opening in such a process cannot take place. 

If done so, an ideation process’s outcome will provide a wide variety of ideas and further steps to evaluate their success potential. Before that, it is about designing the Ideation process in the best possible way and supporting it efficiently with methods and tools.

How to shape an Ideation Process successfully

With a particular setting, a broad view of the solution space is achievable. Challenging assumptions is a practical approach to look beyond the obvious. Often, common beliefs remain untouched for a long time. A step back to look behind the scene as it has always been will help identify new perspectives that promote a solution close to its needs. Therefore an ideation team needs members who are willing to question the fundamentals. 


What helps Ideation

To reach the best possible outcome with the Ideation, it is vital to create a setting that offers you the best opportunities to unfold a maximum of inspiration and creativity. Ideation wants to bring new stimuli, and therefore the challenge is to use the options to change the settings and best profit from the potential induced in design workshops. For example, a different location for the workshops in an inspiring surrounding at its best outside the usual working space could be the key to establish a zone where people feel free to share their ideas.

Hierarchical barriers hinder a free flow of thoughts. Ideation and Design Thinking, in general, need a hierarchy-free zone where everybody is equal, and workshop participants shouldn’t behave according to whether or not the CEO takes part in a session.


People often tend to think of realisation and technical feasibility first when talking about new ideas. To eliminate these thoughts and remember to keep an open mind is paramount to generate as many ideas as possible.

It is beneficial to set up session plans. It defines the goals to be achieved in each session and thinking about the steps necessary to reach them. Think of techniques, tools, and methods that might support operating sessions. Preparing the sessions and having technical Equipment and material ready is crucial for the ideation session’s success.

Ideation requires a certain mindset. Some of the skills are naturally available, and others have yet to be learned. Specific characteristics include:

Promote an open mindset and thus form an essential cornerstone for developing new, unconventional, and above all, problem-solving ideas. 

The Models & Expertise section offers some more options to gain a deeper insight and some inspiration to change yourself to be best prepared for an open-minded idea phase. They must support the creative potential by overcoming one’s personality to a certain extent, to abandon practiced thought patterns and familiar reasons.

There you will also find some more inspiring information for your steps to successful ideation.