Best Ways to Generate Innovative Ideas

sparking ideas

This article is a guest post from Manasi Talikoti from You can read the companion article on the QuestionPro blog.

Once Robin Williams said “No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world”

Are you one of those people that thinks they can change the world with their crazy ideas? How often do you spend time brainstorming and coming up with something new? Do ideas just pop up into your mind out of nowhere? Once you really get started, sometimes you can come up with the weirdest stuff, right?  But let’s admit that there are times that your ideas or lame or you begin to question “was this even your idea, or are you just totally copying someone?”. We decided to dig a little into the question of where good ideas come from and conducted a survey amongst few tech companies in the Bay Area. We wanted to find out how employees are turning on their creative switches and how often does their light bulbs spark. Here is what we found:

Surprisingly, more than 30% of employees don’t get an opportunity to be creative at work. Sad for their companies, I guess. It’s a great opportunity to introduce idea generation into job responsibilities. Everyone at a company can come up with a great idea from time to time. And companies cannot get any further if people at work don’t move their brain cells around and ideate.

It also looks like people need some experiences to get the creative juices going! 30% of employees would like to try something new in order to come up with a new idea and 20% would love to travel to get some inspiration. The rest believed sports and music refreshes and energizes them.

When asked what blocks their creativity at work, 40% of employees are bored with their mundane tasks. 30% are too stressed to think BIG and 10% cite their co-workers as inhibitors to their creativity.

What could make the situation better though? We got to know that 30% of employees need flexible spaces at work. Maybe some bean bags, soft couches… 17% would love a power nap, who wouldn’t? 10% of employees feel they need a variety of tasty food.  Another 20% of them need a playroom. Sounds much like going back to childcare, no? Hey, but if that’s what you need for a million dollar idea, I’m sure your company would take care of it.

People couldn’t make up their minds and agree on office layout. Some people prefer closed, some open, others said both, go and figure. Guess it doesn’t matter that much.

When we asked: Who in your company comes up with the best ideas? 35% employees believe that they themselves are the superstars. Another 30% worship their customer feedback, which helps to come up with the best ideas. Those are both huge resources to tap.

We all have experienced a blank mind when you cannot think of anything — a complete block. There are some reasons that might be causing that. 27% of employees feel that their ideas don’t get shared or that they don’t even get an opportunity to share. Would you be enthusiastic and come up with a new ideas if that were the case? 35% feel they lack resources to come up with the big idea.

We were glad to hear that employees help each other to turn their ideas into reality.They exchange their opinions and thoughts across teams to hear new perspectives. They prioritize their work and personally give time to each individual in the team.

Employee engagement also plays an important role in idea generation. So, make sure to keep your employees engaged.
This data was gathered using QuestionPro survey software.

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