When I was initially asked to write a post for the To The End blog I was pretty excited. I love writing and it had been quite a while since I’d had the opportunity to sit down and write.

That excitement started to slowly diminish when I was sat trying to decide what I was going to write about…How do my colleagues do this on daily basis?

It turns out, as cheesy as this may sound, the topic of my choice was right under my nose: Idea generation.

On a course I attended this year I learned that one of the most common reasons agencies lose, or struggle to keep clients, is because their clients feel they lack ideas. With this in mind, creating and sharing new ideas on a regular basis is crucial.

“But, how do we go about doing this?” I hear you ask. Luckily for you, I’ve put together a nicely formed list of possible solutions.  

1. Disrupt thinking patterns

Ideas tend to be formed in a step-by-step way: you’ve done your market research, you’ve got some solid profiling data on your target audience and now you assume that you know everything about the person you’re going to be talking to. This all makes coming up with an idea a lot more straightforward, but what if there’s another audience that is yet to be profiled?

When you start disrupting the usual thinking patterns and your step-by-step idea generation process, you can often build up a bigger picture and this can help lead to your best ideas.

In your next ideas meeting, don’t be afraid to play devil’s advocate from time to time.

2. Hold regular meetings

Holding regular meetings, even if they aren’t always ideas focused can help idea generation: a weekly update on your work in progress, gathering together different teams to discuss this can help spark ideas.

3. Have a place to store ideas

At To The End we use a project managing tool called Asana. On Asana you can create boards to manage projects, but these can also act as ideas boards. Our ideas board is open for everyone in the agency to add to, knowing that the best ideas can come to you at the strangest of times.

Similarly, we also make use of Google sheets to store and archive ideas. The Google sheet functions as an ideas bank. If there’s something we’re not ready to roll with, we’ve still got it for future reference.

4. Implement reactive ideas

Some ideas can be a result of reacting to events or scenarios that have occurred. Although we are all about the proactive approach at To The End, sometimes being reactive can lead to creative thinking.

Similarly, trying to solve a problem can bring ideas to the table. Rather than thinking about a problem negatively, think of it as a challenge to come up with a new idea to solve the issue.

5. Question, what are others doing?

Now, I wouldn’t want to condone stealing ideas from other companies, or idea generators – that’s not our game, but if you know what your competitors are doing, or those who seem quite ahead of the times, you can also take note of what they aren’t doing. From this ideas can develop!

I’ve now got to the stage of writing where the word idea has been written so many times I’m now no longer sure of its meaning or pronunciation. With that in mind, I will end this here and hope that my guidance will lead you into creating your next award winning idea.

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