Here at Google, we don't have a secret formula for innovation. But that doesn't mean Googlers' best ideas are ineffable mysteries. On the contrary, we've found they can be systematically coaxed into being and steadily improved upon. And so can yours.
BUILDING A BETTER BRAINSTORM
Just about everyone can learn to brainstorm better. After all, it's a process like any other. And the beauty of a process is that it can be taught, learned, and shared. We've distilled our own approach into a set of three basic principles—ideas we believe can be adapted and applied at pretty much any organization, regardless of size or industry.
The way many of us brainstorm often gives the whole experience a bad rap: We typically envision a brainstorming session as an unstructured scene where wild ideas are thrown around in an ad hoc way—where anything goes. But at Google, while we’ve learned that freestyle brainstorming is the basis of innovation, it doesn't turn into substantive action without some structure.
That's why we’ve created a linear process for brainstorming new ideas and turning them into actual products:
Know the user
If that looks simple, it is—but you have to execute each step the right way.