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Gathering New Ideas to Drive Growth

Source: Polina Zimmerman

When I see the advertisement from one of the online investment platforms like Groww etc., I wonder why this didn’t come from an established player.

I am sure boards of their competitors must be wondering why they didn’t introduce the new product or service that has hit the market from an unknown company. I am certain that these organizations spend time on strategy, generate new growth ideas, have “innovation” as a priority, have a digital transformation agenda etc.

Yet, breakthrough ideas seem to come only from the industry outsiders or fringe players.

The reason in most cases is that the way they generate ideas and strategies is not working. Ask yourself the following questions

1. When was the last time your board had a serious discussion on the future scenario of your business?

2. When was the last time your board or leadership said let’s seek ideas from outside the company?

3. When was the last time your board acknowledged that the growth plans aren’t working because our ideas and strategy are wrong?

Organizations are repeatedly making the same mistakes, seek problems and solutions from within the organization. With this approach, you are certain of a few things

1. Only those who know the system will come up with problems, ideas and solutions

2. The ideas and solutions will be rooted in what they already know

3. Decisions will be based on systems that are already in place and based on existing knowledge.

Yet, as we see with new concepts, products and services that hit the market, new disruptions are based on new thinking, new ideas and a different approach to solving problems. An idea such as CRED would not come from an existing banking institution as the decision-makers and leaders can’t foresee this disruption.

When I discuss with the organization about their innovation and growth strategy, I notice that either they outsource the work to an external consultant (engage an MBB firm and task them with leading the effort) or entrust internal teams to come up with the strategy.

With strategy and ideas that are externally sourced, there is never conviction or buy-in. The details are never understood and implementation is difficult.

With internal teams being entrusted to come up with a strategy, there is unlikely to be breakthrough thinking and the outputs are more of what the organization is already familiar with.

We believe that if existing organizations are to generate breakthrough ideas, they should start with detailed scenario planning and identify the likely future scenarios. These scenarios will show potential problems that require disruptive solutions. It requires an answer to the question “what if”

Such problems most likely require open ideation, they need ideas from beyond your organization. It’s likely to be non-linear a process, with a lot of ideas, clustering, hypothesis development, experimentation and analysis. Innovation360 group has developed a brilliant process to help such ideation.

The Process – Ideation Management

When problem statements have been identified and formulated, preferably a bold one, it is time to start the more controlled part of the process, often called ideation, ideation management, or idea generation.

Source: Innovation360 Group

This process starts by defining funnels in which insights can be collected. This funnel can be push or pull, meaning that you can ask or that you can observe. Examples of pull funnels are anthropological or ethnographic studies, big data analytics, in-depth interviews, desk research, and scouting, while examples of push funnels are ideation campaigns, A and B testing, prototyping, and workshops.

The analytical technique for this concept is clustering, during which ideas are clustered from different funnels, evolving them into big ideas that allow the formulation of hypotheses and testing them. Through iterations, one can validate, reject, or merge/split big ideas.

Working with a proper ideation platform and well-defined push and pull funnels to feed idea generation typically results in 2 – 5 big ideas per problem statement, including a well-formulated hypothesis. Done efficiently, this can be managed in 2 to 4 weeks. However, you must have the right capabilities, leadership, and tools at your disposal.

If you would like to discuss scenario planning and idea generation do reach out to

Now that you have reached the end of the article, we request you to take a few minutes to answer this survey on your experience with idea generation:

Krishnan Naganathan

Krishnan is a leading innovation consultant and focuses on helping people and organizations innovate and build capabilities for innovation. He brings over 25 years of experience in the industry and consulting. You can reach him by phone / WhatsApp: +919791033967 or email:

PS: This article refers to content published in blog by Innovation360. You can refer it here:


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