3 Step innovation filter: Finding your best ideas

Using an innovation filter is a necessary, yet often overlooked process in making key decisions. A lot has been written on the topic of innovation and ideation. Coming up with truly ground breaking new ideas isn’t easy and its not for the faint of heart.

But what happens after you come up with those good ideas? After you’ve set a direction, or maybe defined some innovation “hunting grounds”, after you’ve given your team time to mull over the problem, set up a crowd sourcing tool, help discovery sessions and workshops, and given individuals time to think?

Perhaps your team or organization may have come up with only a handful of ideas, all of which you can pursue. But chances are they came with many more ideas than your budget can fund. And, many of those ideas overlap, are in conflict, or just don’t align to your strategic vision.


So now what?

Perhaps you can do a first pass to eliminate the obvious clunkers, but soon you’ll get down to a group of good ideas, that you can’t pursue all at once. And then you’re going to have to make some choices.

Do you put your funds all towards one big but potentially really impactful idea?
Or focus on a few smaller ideas to mitigate risk?

Do you prioritize your customer experience?
Or operational efficiency?

Is your organization trying to be a market leader?
Or a fast follower?

Which idea or ideas is going to have the most return on investment, move you closest to the direction you’re going on, or just be the most successful? In order to determine that, you need an innovation filter. While ideation is often best done as a solo activity, idea development and filtering is a great group activity. It gives the team a chance to challenge each other’s assumptions and closely held beliefs and it begins the process of building alignment and a single vision.

To learn how ThoughtForm tackles innovation filtering with our clients, download the white paper “Innovation filter: from scattered to focused.”