Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have no limits on your creativity? To imagine the most amazing, out-of-the-box solutions to any problem? To dream big and bold without worrying about feasibility, budget, or resources?
That’s what blue sky thinking is all about. It’s a brainstorming technique that encourages you to explore the most radical, unconventional, and visionary ideas possible. It’s a way of unleashing your imagination and tapping into your inner genius.
But why is blue sky thinking important for innovation? And how can you use it to achieve your innovation goals?
The Benefits of Blue Sky Thinking for Innovation
Blue sky thinking can help you boost your innovation success in several ways. Here are some of the benefits of this technique:
- It expands your perspective. Blue sky thinking helps you break free from the constraints of reality and see things from different angles. You can challenge your assumptions, question the status quo, and discover new possibilities.
- It sparks your inspiration. Blue sky thinking stimulates your curiosity and enthusiasm. You can generate more ideas, more diverse ideas, and more original ideas. You can also find connections between seemingly unrelated concepts and create novel combinations.
- It fosters your experimentation. Blue sky thinking encourages you to test your ideas and learn from your failures. You can experiment with different prototypes, scenarios, and feedback. You can also iterate on your ideas and refine them until they become viable.
- It enhances your collaboration. Blue sky thinking promotes a culture of openness, trust, and diversity. You can involve different stakeholders, experts, and users in your innovation process. You can also leverage their insights, opinions, and experiences to enrich your ideas.
Examples of blue sky thinking
Some examples of blue-sky thinking are:
- The invention of the airplane by the Wright brothers, who dared to dream of flying despite the skepticism and criticism of others
- The development of the Internet by Tim Berners-Lee, who envisioned a global network of information sharing and communication
- The creation of the iPhone by Apple, who revolutionized the smartphone industry by combining multiple functions and features into one device
- The launch of SpaceX by Elon Musk, who aims to make space travel accessible and affordable for everyone
- The design of the Hyperloop by Virgin Hyperloop who propose to transport passengers and cargo at high speeds using magnetic levitation and vacuum tubes
Blue sky thinking is not only for inventors and entrepreneurs but for anyone who wants to innovate and make a positive difference in the world. By adopting a blue-sky mindset, we can unleash our creativity and potential and discover new opportunities and solutions for our challenges.
How to Use Blue Sky Thinking for Innovation
Blue sky thinking is not just a random exercise of fantasy. It’s a structured process that requires preparation, facilitation, and follow-up. Here are some steps you can follow to use blue-sky thinking for innovation:
- Define your challenge. Before you start brainstorming, you need a clear and specific problem statement that defines what you want to achieve, who you want to serve, and why you want to innovate.
- Set the rules. To create a safe and productive environment for blue-sky thinking, you must establish some ground rules for the session. For example, you can ask participants to suspend their judgment, avoid criticism, build on each other’s ideas, and aim for quantity and quality.
- Use prompts. You can use different prompts or techniques during the session to stimulate your creativity and generate more diverse ideas. For example, you can use questions, analogies, metaphors, images, or scenarios to trigger new associations and perspectives.
- Capture the ideas. As you brainstorm, you must capture all the ideas in the session. You can record them using different tools or methods, such as sticky notes, whiteboards, flip charts, or digital platforms.
- Evaluate the ideas. After the session, you must evaluate the ideas and select the most promising ones for further development. You can use different criteria or methods to assess them, such as feasibility, desirability, viability, or impact.
- Develop the ideas. Once you have chosen the best ideas, you must develop them into more concrete solutions. You can use different tools or techniques to prototype them, such as sketches, models, mock-ups, or simulations.
- Test the ideas. Finally, you must test your solutions with real users and collect feedback. You can validate them using different methods or channels, such as interviews, surveys, experiments, or pilots.
Risks of Blue-Sky Thinking
Some of the risks are:
- Unrealistic expectations: Blue Sky Thinking can create a gap between the ideal and the real, leading to disappointment and frustration when the ideas are not feasible or effective in reality.
- Lack of focus: Blue Sky Thinking can distract people from the core problems and goals that need to be solved, resulting in wasted time and resources on irrelevant or low-priority issues.
- Resistance to change: Blue Sky Thinking can challenge the existing norms and assumptions, causing resistance and conflict from stakeholders who are comfortable with the status quo or have vested interests in maintaining it.
- Ethical dilemmas: Blue Sky Thinking can raise ethical questions and concerns, such as the impact of the ideas on the environment, society, human rights, etc.
It is important to balance Blue Sky Thinking with critical and practical thinking to avoid these risks. Critical thinking involves evaluating the ideas’ validity, relevance, and implications. Practical thinking involves testing the ideas for feasibility, effectiveness, and sustainability. By combining these three types of thinking, one can generate creative and visionary ideas that are realistic, focused, and ethical.
Blue Sky Thinking with Accept Mission
If you want to apply blue-sky thinking to your innovation projects, Accept Mission can help you. Accept Mission is idea & innovation management software that helps you generate more and better ideas in less time and helps you to identify the best ideas to execute for your organization.
With Accept Mission, you can:
- Create engaging online ideation/brainstorming sessions with gamification elements.
- Invite unlimited participants from anywhere in the world.
- Use various ideation techniques and templates.
- Capture and organize all the ideas in one place (funnel management)
- Evaluate and rank the ideas with smart algorithms (Score and select)
- Develop and test the ideas with agile tools.
- Manage your innovation portfolio with dashboards and reports.
Ready to take your innovation to the next level? Try Accept Mission for free today!