Need a single little-known idea-generation technique that will produce new business ideas for you? Help you solve problems? Explore issues in your business on a deeper level?
But here’s the thing: when you know what the technique is please don’t just forget about it and not use it.
Ok, now with that out of the way let’s get down to briefly showing you what it’s all about…
An idea-generation techniques toolbox is similar to a handy-person’s toolbox – if you’ve got a job of work to do you need to use the right tool. It’s no good using a pair of pliers to remove a brass screw. You won’t get very far using a steel drill bit in masonry.
It’s similar to using the best tools in selling. You need to know which sales closing techniques to use in a particular set of circumstances. Knowing which one to use is the real skill. And if one doesn’t work, you need other closes that work.
You know what? You really only need a few tools, closes, idea-generation techniques that work. How can you stuff your toolbox with tools you are unlikely to use often and are there just for show rather than everyday hard work?
Reminds me of the sales trainers with 150 closes you have to drill, rehearse and remember. If they are so effective, why 150? Surely a handful of the best ones will do the trick?
The freshly-minted MBA grad can amaze your business with 250 analytical tools from the Boston Consulting Group Matrix and Porter’s Five Forces to product life-cycle curves. Still, knowing which tool to use in the right circumstances is critical.
Now, let’s talk about the little-known idea-generation technique or tool of freewriting. The guy who popularised this was Peter Elbow. But he used it in education. A few business people have discovered its usefulness for new business ideas. One businessperson has even written a book solely on freewriting.
Here’s what you need to know: Take any challenge, interest, passion, hobby, experience or topic that you want to use to spur new ideas from. Write (yes, that horrible activity for some) for ten minutes, flat out with no, I mean no, editing, no regard for grammar or punctuation. Then stop. Do this with intense concentration and you’ll be amazed.
Go through what you’ve “written” the next day. What you’ll discover in this: you may have so many good ideas you may spend the next year trying to implement all of them. Oh yes, don’t show others your scribbles. Keep freewriting private unless it’s a strictly business topic. You know, people have funny ideas about writing, drilled into them at school. When something is written down it’s chiselled in stone.
Who knows? You may become a big fan of freewriting. Keep it in your toolbox of personal brainstorming methods until you urgently need it. You may need to use it sooner than you think. After I’ve introduced this method to them, small business owners have produced stunning results.
The bottom line though is this:
Use this tool. Do something with it to benefit yourself, your start-up, sideline venture or existing business which you may need to ramp up.