Generating an idea can be hard at times, especially when it comes to ones that have to do with entrepreneurship. Did you know you come up with an idea every day? For instance, when we improvise, we indirectly come up with an idea to solve an urgent need or propose a suitable replacement to a missing item.

Ideas are mainly created to solve existing problems that you or people in your community have experienced. One thing you should know is that ideas are not always perfect, and they are not defined by the content or the revenue one will make from it, but they are defined as a success when the problem is solved conveniently for your target audience or your consumers. A tip when you are coming up with a solution is to try and understand the main cause of the problem. Instead of providing a solution to just the symptoms of the problem, you can provide a solution that solves the main root of the issue.

Everyone has ideas, but once we think about them a little further, we find them unrealistic and we tend to discard them. What if I told you that you could come up with multiple advancements to your idea by simply embracing Divergent Thinking?

Divergent thinking, according to Wikipedia, is a thought process or method used to generate creative ideas by exploring many possible solutions. As kids, we were always creative. We always had ideas that seemed silly to our parents, but we always found a way to persevere in order to make our crazy ideas seem realistic. I am reading a book by Paul Lindley titled ‘Little wins’. In the book, Lindley highlights the significance of thinking like a toddler. He mentions that toddlers have the ability to see things differently, and think creatively. When a three-year-old boy says he has an imaginary friend, it seems really absurd to his parents, but the toddler still goes down to give his imaginary friend a name and attributes. Think like a toddler, don’t discard an idea because it might not seem sensible to people. As long as it seems fine to you, once you continue to build on it, it becomes magnificent to others. For example, when Thomas Edison had the idea of the light bulb, a lot of people might have said it was absurd.

“How are you going to build something like that? I can’t even imagine.”

“Aren’t there better ideas out there?”

“Come on, Thomas. You invented the phonograph. Can’t you think of something related to that?”

But Thomas Edison persevered and created the light bulb after 10,000 tries. That’s why Thomas Edison came up with this quote when he was asked how he felt when he failed 10,000 times. He simply stated, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Have you ever wondered why people participate in projects or competitions in teams? It’s because collaboration enhances creativity. Let’s do a quick exercise. Get at least four like-minded people together. Imagine you all want to start a 3D printing space and each of you has individual ideas. One of you will start by saying, “I want to set up our 3D printing space close to a wood processing industry.”. Another teammate will respond by saying, “Yes, and we can also build a mutual relationship with them.”. A third person comes up with another idea. Continue until you are finished with your suggestions. After that, you all should embrace convergent thinking and choose from the multitude of ideas you brainstormed. Start by saying, “Yes, but…” followed by a reason why one of the ideas for your business isn’t realistic for now. The aim of this exercise is to make your idea more realistic for your team.

A quote by Edward de Bono resonates here: “An idea that is developed and put into action is more important than an idea that exists only as an idea.”. That’s why I encourage you to participate in the Diamond Challenge and make your idea a reality!