Opportunity Driven Ideation

Without a trigger there can be no ideas! If thoughts do not arise without an input, then a lot of the ideas that we generate are dependent on the quality of triggers we use. Many times the triggers are random, but the very successful entrepreneurs ensure they gain access to higher quality triggers all the time. Since this has been used effectively by almost every artist remembered in history, I wondered if it can be used in entrepreneurship. Instead of simply coming up with ideas randomly, can entrepreneurs be driven to ideate around specific opportunities?

As an entrepreneur a lot depends on what you keep as your sources of opportunities. How do you figure which opportunity to ideate on? Do you even have an activity called opportunity identification in practice? Most often not! If you jump to start the business on the earliest idea that hits you, it is quite certain that you will be lost too soon in the entrepreneurial journey!

Hence the first skill to pick up as an entrepreneur is to source opportunities. Ideation or the application of creativity should be used only on a valuable opportunity. When ideation is centered around quality opportunities, they act as triggers to provide the much needed direction to our ideation efforts. Without such a central focus point guiding our ideation efforts, it is highly possible that we go around picking every interesting idea we come across. If we do this we will end up in one of the two situations discussed in yesterday’s blog: https://rajshankar.wordpress.com/2013/11/04/random-ideation-reduces-entrepreneurial-ability/

We don’t want t fall prey to this illusion that we are moving ahead with pure ideation. We want to be rooted in an opportunity that is valuable and that which can be exploited using our strengths and resources.

So, the next time you engage yourself in ideation, ask what’s the opportunity that’s driving this creative effort – you will save yourself and your firm.

Think about it!

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