Your brain is an idea factory and like any factory it needs a few things to create quality output.
Quality Raw Materials: Ideas, observations, knowledge, art, stories and everything else you’ve ever experienced in your life. Your experiences are just like the materials factories buy – they can be of either low or high quality. The better the quality of your “raw materials” the better the quality of your output.
Energy: Not surprisingly, a well fed and well rested mind is capable of doing more work that one that’s tired and starved of nutrients.
Inventory Management: How your store your experiences and the ability to retrieve them affects your ability to generate new ideas.
A Repeatable Process: Contrary to popular opinion, generating new ideas is not the result of horsing around with Nerf guns and random chance. If you have a structured process for generating ideas, you’ll generate more ideas.
Quality Control: Not all ideas are good ideas, the key is to make sure the bad ones never leave the factory. Before you brainstorm set up the attributes and criteria upon which all your ideas will be judged.
Distribution System: Coming up with ideas is the easy part. Selling them is hard. Understanding and communicating the business objective, strategy, and how your idea fits within the context of the greater environment goes a long way to getting your ideas out into the marketplace.
Work on optimizing all areas of your idea factory and you’ll become a better idea person.