Compendium of Idea Generation Methods

You’re now a few clicks away from one of the largest collections of Idea Generation Methods found on the Internet. Perhaps, even the world.

It is organized by:

  • Worldview – broad perspective on where ideas come from,
  • Categories – groups of related methods to generate ideas, and finally
  • Methods – idea generation methods and tools.


This is a listing of each category organized by worldview. Within each category, you will find a listing of methods.

Worldview 1

The World Is A Machine – generate large numbers of ideas and potential solutions to discover the best ideas and solutions.

  • Inventory Making – generating lists of options and potential solutions.
  • Combining – putting together different components to make something new.
  • Deconstruction – breaking things down to re-evaluate the parts.
  • Building  – building on existing ideas to enhance or trigger new ideas.
  • Springboards – using external stimulus to trigger new thinking and ideas.
  • Ideas Across Frontiers – how has this been solved in other fields or contexts?
  • Constraint Removal – identifying to remove existing constraints.
  • Laddering – shifting between broad to specific to find new possible ideas.
  • Anchoring and Spacial Marking – using location and context to stimulate solutions.
  • Working Backwards – imagining the problem solved and working backward to map out how the result was achieved.

Worldview 1 Plus

Perspective: The World is a Network of Relationships

  • Conversational – two or more people discussing potential solutions, and
  • Collaborative – two or more people working together to generate potential solutions.

Worldview 2

Perspective: The World is a System

Worldview 3

Perspective: The World is a Field of Energy