Idea Cluster

Type of record:
  • Micro method
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Ideal innovation phases for this method:
  1. Innovation Phase
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The Idea Cluster is a tool by Benno van Aerssen that is used to quickly and efficiently enrich and further elaborate initial solutions and ideas.

The idea cluster is always used when initial ideas have been generated from a first idea generation round, in a project or in a workshop. Typically, preliminary ideas and initial solutions often exist as individual sentences or statements on moderation cards or pinboards.

Since, as is known from many years of experience, these preliminary ideas are still far too imprecise and rough for evaluation or even decision, they must be enriched and further elaborated. It is important at this point that the enrichment process is very efficient and target-oriented. Too little enrichment at this early stage is usually just as inefficient as much too detailed elaboration. It is important to find a good balance here.

The idea cluster and a few important parameters create the conditions for such an efficient idea enrichment. The essential parameters for the idea cluster are:
- It is created by two people.
- Ideally, one of the two is the thinker of the initial idea to be enriched.
- The idea cluster is created on flipchart paper.
- Colored markers should also be used.
- The team has a maximum of 30 minutes to create the idea cluster.
  • Effective for all innovation types
  • Effective for disruptive innovations
  • Effective for highly complex challenges
  • Effective for incremental innovations and improvements
  • Effective for low complex challenges
  • Effective for medium complex challenges
  • Effective for radical innovations
  • P6 Idea enrichment (idea combination - idea integration)
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