A BIG IDEA in Action

Social Media Links


By Yupa Saisanan

Yupa SaisananCreativity involves the so-called "thinking outside of the box" process. Creative thinking is a skill that can be nurtured. The creative process begins with a problem. The BIG IDEA is the product that is born out of this creative process. By applying the method of "thinking outside of the box", the BIG IDEA is a fresh new perspective into finding a creative solution to solve a problem.

This means you must have the ability to perceive and conceive above and beyond the area that boxed your thoughts in. This also means that you have a curious mind and a keen observation to find a real insight into the problem you are trying to solve.  
So how do you come up with a BIG IDEA for a business issue that you are assigned to solve? According to James Webb Young's (1989) classic book on creative thinking, "A Technique for Producing Ideas," he proclaimed that "ideas are new combinations (pp. 30-41)."
Coming up with a BIG IDEA, therefore, is unique to your situation. You must find new combinations that will work in your immediate environment. The BIG IDEA is original, cleverly looking into an existing combination.

Here are five questions to spark a BIG IDEA. 
1. What is the real insight that your idea is born out of?   
Insight is critical because it grounds you, your thoughts, and your way of thinking about the problem. It is a set of beliefs that your business rests upon. It provides a frame of reference to tell your stories. It is the cumulative message that you want people to recall and recollect when they see your business logo, hear your theme music, or visit your store. It is your appeal to the audience. 
2. What is the creative expression of your idea?  
A BIG IDEA is a creative product.
A BIG IDEA is a compelling thought that will stand the test of time. It is long lasting, providing a framework for your grand narrative — the message as you intended.
A BIG IDEA can be expressed in many fashions. For example, it can be a word, a phrase, a piece of music, a poem or an image.  
To illustrate, "A Diamond is Forever" is the branding idea for De Beer's Diamonds advertising campaigns around the world. Think about this expression again.  
Isn't it a creative thought? Absolutely!
The idea is suggesting to us to value romantic love in a diamond. 
Isn't it compelling? Totally! 
The idea compels us to think about the meaning of love in a new way and the role a diamond can play in showing your love.  
3. Why do people find it interesting?   
According to the dictionary, interesting means holding attention and arousing curiosity. A big idea must be compelling and dynamic, rather than playing safe and static. It draws you in. It makes you think. It prompts more questions, rather than simply stating the answer. 
Through the idea of “A Diamond is Forever,” De Beers has created a need for partners to buy a diamond ring as proof of love. 
4. How will people find it memorable?           
Let's look at De Beers’ branding idea one more time: Isn't it memorable? Of course!
The idea is so simple, yet it is expressed in a catchy manner. The idea strikes a chord in the psychology of the target audience.  
This explains why a BIG IDEA is a product of a creative thinking exercise. It is a creative expression of the vision to solve a problem. It provides a structure for the business (De Beers’ Diamonds) to tell its story. 
As a result, the cumulative message as told by DeBeers' Diamonds is a story of love represented by a diamond on a ring.  
5. How will this idea solve a problem you intend to address now and in the future?   
A BIG IDEA provides an overarching theme for the grand narrative — the main message of love and the diamond ring. Secondary messages such as engagement rings, solitaire diamonds, etc., are meta-narratives designed to keep the grand narrative fresh in the mind of the audience or to attract new audiences — selling more diamonds.  
Try using these five guiding questions next time you are asked to think outside of the box. Your answers will tell you if you have come up with a BIG IDEA.  


Social Media Links

Related News