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Ideation, Validation & Innovation

Ideation refers to generation or formation of ideas. It can also be termed as a cognitive process of developing and communicating new ideas. It is the very first step for any person to discover himself/herself as an entrepreneur in the business arena as it helps visualizing business opportunities by creatively identifying market demand and analyzing competitors. Developing new ideas for business usually starts with recognizing a self-need, understanding a market gap or inventing better ways to accomplish a work more efficiently. Ideas can be formulated through formal and informal methods like brainstorming, mind mapping, brainwriting, etc. Environmental stimulus like freedom, encouragement, sufficient time and resources, etc. play tremendous role in almost all ideation methods.

Validation is very much closely related with opportunity recognition. Once ideas are generated, the next step is to validate those ideas. And this is what validation does. Validation helps shaping entrepreneurs abstract ideas into a more concrete form. Without performing the validation process, it is not plausible to understand whether there is really a market gap or whether the customers are really willing to pay for the product or service. This inquiry based learning process measures entrepreneurs success and failure and helps pivoting. And it can be performed in several different ways. Amongst those ways, validation using Validation Board is one of the popular ways. Validation board is known as a great tool to help entrepreneurs stay focused on taking actions. Young entrepreneurs can use this tool to save both time and money before risking themselves with poor assumptions of making money. Entrepreneurs are known as visionaries. Brenton Gieser, who is a social entrepreneur and the co-founder of Be Social Change & Johnln says, I believe entrepreneurship should be about adding value instead of just solving problems. When you arent in to uch with the purpose or vision, you are not setting yourself or your organization up for long-term success. This is why I think every entrepreneur should go through a thorough vision validation process before building a startup.

Though innovation & ideation are linked, they are not the same thing. Innovation is putting ideas in to action and making them real. Creativity theorist Andre Ivanchuk defines, Innovation is a successful exploitation and execution of the opportunity of an idea w ithin a business model. It is in fact a creative process that deals with quality, evaluation & implementation. Validated ideas are worthless if they are not executed in a creative manner. In todays business environment, entrepreneurs essentially require to put up continuous innovation to be successful.

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