Ideation and Innovation

by Aminat Abubakar

Ideation is the creative aspect of the design process by “which you generate the ideas that get you from the starting line to the finishing line” (Interaction Design Foundation, n.d.). The word ideation is about coming up with big ideas, but more importantly, is knowing which amongst all the ideas presented is the most significant. The goal of ideation process is to implement “best solution to satisfy the unmet customer needs of the target customers and segments, enabling them to get the job done faster, more conveniently, and more effectively than ever before” (Strategyn, n.d.). Ideation is generated through a number of various sessions such as brainstorming, co-creation workshops, gamestorming, mindmap, prototyping, SCAMPER, sketching, and storyboard.

According to Dam and Siang, (2017), Ideation helps to:

  1. Ask the right questions and innovate.
  2. Step beyond the obvious solutions and therefore increase the innovation potential of a solution by generating fresh ideas and better results.
  3. It aligns team members’ perspectives and strengths around a common objective.
  4. Uncover unexpected areas of innovation from team members’ diverse experiences.
  5. Create dimensions and variety in innovation options in order to get obvious solutions.

Insight in innovation provides a projected outlook on the acceptance of a planned change to technology or business model into the market. Insight provides two important advantages. It helps to explore new opportunities, bring out creativity, and identify possible innovations. Additionally provides an understanding of the customer, market, trends, and technologies.

Davila, Epstein, and Shelton (2013, p.xxvi) provided five models of insight.

  1. Market and customer insight includes changes in the market structure, demographics, and unmet needs.
  2. Regulatory and policy insight is made up of regulatory or political changes that affect privacy, piracy, digital rights, and intellectual property, and global trade.
  3. Societal insight involves a shift in concerns and attitudes in regards to health, poverty, and global responsibility.
  4. Technology platform insight encompasses new technologies that emphasize how things are done.
  5. Product and service platform insight involves bundling or changing combination or product and services that could change the market environment.

In today’s global business world the C-Suite all agree that a company’s growth is dependent on a strong sustainable innovation. “CEOs across Asia, Europe, and the United States agree on one thing: Success is all about growth and innovation” (Davila, Epstein, and Shelton, 2013, p.xiii).

Innovation is an important aspect for all businesses and society. It becomes even more imperative for the entrepreneur. The entrepreneur needs disruptive innovation that would change the market. “Successful breakthrough and radical innovations create new completion and customer dynamics and drives significant growth.” For example, Amazon has disrupted the food retail landscape with the acquisition of Whole Foods. It shows Amazon utilization of ideation process to come up with innovative services that would add value to the consumer.

“Amazon is a customer-centric company, constantly evolving and testing all aspects of its operations in pursuit of fulfilling its customers’ desires. Knowing how to organize and operate around how its customers wish to interact—and essentially innovating from the outside—has been a key component in Amazon’s success” (Deloitte, 2018).

Successful companies utilize both technology and business innovation to create new products and services.

Ideation sets the stage to use creativity and innovation to come up with solutions. It pushes us to think differently, recognize opportunities and maximizes team creativity to create enhanced and valuable innovative products/services.

Dam, R., & Siang, S. (2017). Stage 3 in the Design Thinking Process: Ideate. Retrieved from
Davila, T., Epstein, M., & Shelton, R. (2013). Making Innovation Work: How to Manage It, Measure It, and Profit from It (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Deloitte. (2018). The Amazon-Whole Foods acquisition: Six competitive realities for retailers. Retrieved from
Interaction Design Foundation. (n.d.). Ideation. Retrieved from
Strategyn. (n.d.). Ideation: Now you can have a big idea – Because success comes from knowing, not guessing. Retrieved from

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