Ideas on Ideation

Ideation is a hot topic lately.

Wikipedia defines ideation as “the process of forming and relating ideas. It is a concept utilized in the study of New Product Development, creativity, innovation, design thinking and concept development.” The important part of the definition, however, is “As part of the move into Enterprise 2.0, usage of ideation in the product innovation process has become an integral element. In this context, employees or customers are invited to participate in the ideation process, via a web portal (open on the internet or intranet), where they can suggest new ideas, rate other ideas, and collaborate with the entire community in the process of ideation.”

Ideation can go too far, though. IBM has used the concept of ideation in an advertising campaign called “Stop Talking, Start Doing.” Two particular commercials stand out, one with ideators (is that a new word?) lying in a conference room, and one involving an ideation superhero.

The reason it is hot is because of a trend to enable those inside the company with a tool for collecting and implementing ideas. Dell’s IdeaStorm and Ubuntu’s Brainstorm are great examples of how a technology can enable ideation. So I decided to do a bit of Digging (just a little bit of foreshadowing there) on Google and found a number of Digg-like clones that are available. They are either open-source or hosted solutions.  Check them out:

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