a collection of posts connecting creative and critical thinking, problem solving and leadership

It’s all very good to be able to generate a bunch of ideas; it is something you can get good at just by practicing making lists. An equally important skill is the ability to take an idea and give it depth, through detailed descriptions of the important attributes of idea – The skill of elaboration.

Elaboration is critical in the verification phase of the creative process and is instrumental when trying to get general acceptance from skeptics and idea resistors.

For example, if your idea relates to a product then this would include not only how the product might look and function, but what the colours may be or if appropriate the taste, smell and very importantly the feel of the product. Describing how the product might make clients or customers feel when they pick it up or use it is an important aspect of creating a specific picture for those who might need to evaluate and approve the product.

It your idea is connected with a process, the description of why the process is needed, how it will operate, who would use it, how they would feel about it and the feeling of contentment or excitement that would come by having this process operational.

You can also use visual tools, pictures, diagrams, and story-boarding for the elaboration, anything that will give colour and substance to a business idea. Prototypes can take the information summarized in an elaboration and give substance to it.

As some point all of the details of a new process, product or business idea will be finalized. However, on the road to giving those who can help you put your idea forward, elaborating the concepts even if they change over time, will reassure them knowing your approach includes the details as well as the bigger picture.

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