Idea-Generation Techniques: A Formulary of Active Ingredients



The profusion of creativity techniques that have been proposed and used is based on a much smaller set of active ingredients, devices that promote idea generation. This paper reports the results of a study that identified these active ingredients through an analysis of 172 idea-generation methods. Fifty idea-generation devices of three types — strategies, tactics, and enablers — were identified and organized in a formulary. Research results facilitate the evaluation of idea-generation methods and the selection of methods suited to particular idea-generation tasks.