Stage 1: Immersion
Stage 2: Digestion
Stage 3: Incubation
Stage 4: Illumination
Stage 5: Verification
This stage is my ‘sense-check’ stage. I run my idea past others for their opinion. I look for experts or people who will broadly understand the idea. They may be good thinkers or I admire their wisdom, or they view the world differently and can offer fresh insight. I trust their opinion and advice. After this stage, I decide whether to go ahead with the idea. If I give myself the green light, the hard work of operationalising the idea and bringing it to life begins.
Personally, I use Young’s guidelines as the basis of my ideas generation because it makes sense and gives me a roadmap for creative thinking and idea generation. At its core, the process still resonates today because of the practicality and breadth of where and how it can be applied. This process provides safety in the form of structure and helps me focus my attention as I go through each stage. Although a word of warning, I rarely produce instant results, and it can feel slow particularly when moving between the incubation and illumination stages. I find time helps my ideas to mature while adding pressure and stress doesn’t speed up the process. Ideas happen when they happen, yet somehow, I always make the deadline!
In closing, I would recommend you understand your own approach to idea generation. I encourage you to write your process down and accept its uniqueness. Seeing it on paper lends logic and structure to your thinking which leads to confidence and the realisation that you are an ‘ideas person’. Knowing what type of idea to generate, having key resources available and following a process helps me generate better ideas faster. I am no longer afraid of trying to come up with new ideas. I really would encourage you to reflect on your approach to idea generation and don’t forget to keep practicing, as the more practice you do, the easier it becomes. Have fun and enjoy the process of bringing new ideas to the world!