Compendium of Idea Generation Methods

This Compendium of Idea Generation Methods was originally published by Martin Leith at his website until summer 2003. Renee Hopkins requested and received Martin’s permission to adapt and keep the Compendium going. In April 2009 Idea Sandbox picked this project up from Renee.

You will see, along the column the information is divided into Worldviews and Categories. When you select a Category, you’ll be presented with specific methods.

For more information check out the Methods Introduction and Organization & Structure sections.

In its initial state, the Compendium comprised every idea generation method Martin encountered from about 1987 to 2003, from sources including books, articles, websites, academics, consultants and colleagues. The methods have been drawn not just from the world of creative problem solving and innovation, but also from other worlds such as organizational change, strategic planning, psychotherapy, cybernetics, and the creative arts.

Renee included Martin’s original organization, including a taxonomy (division into ordered groups or categories). This has been maintained. Each of the original methods is cross-indexed back to the relevant category through a hyperlink.

Building on Martin’s and Renee’s work, I would like this to be the most comprehensive collection of idea generation methods on the Internet. If you know any methods that are not listed here, or if you know another name for a listed method, please send an email. We will mention your name on this page and will provide a link to your website if you have one.

From April 2009 until July 2011 this information has sat within the Idea Sandbox wiki. Starting in August 2011 I’ve picked the project back up again to clean-up entries and add new ones.

If you have any questions, please contact Paul via Contact Us form.