Ideas are the lifeblood of innovation. They fuel progress and serve as the foundation for impactful problem-solving. Yet, the ideation phase can be challenging. With a multitude of ideas at your disposal, how do you determine which ones are worth pursuing? It’s time to introduce you to Overlap’s Better SWOT Analysis, a powerful tool designed to help you navigate the vast landscape of ideas efficiently and effectively.

The Ideation Conundrum

We’ve all been there—a room filled with brainstormed ideas, each with the potential to be a game-changer. But how do you separate the big fish from the little ones? As the late Dr. Linda Carson wisely put it, “How do you catch a big fish? Step one, catch a lot of fish. Step two, throw back all the little ones.” That’s the essence of ideation – casting a wide net to ensure you capture the most promising ideas.

The Importance of Prioritization

Once you’ve generated a multitude of ideas, you need a system to evaluate and prioritize them. “Because I like this idea” isn’t the best criterion. It’s here that Overlap’s Better SWOT Analysis steps in.

The Better SWOT Analysis: What Sets It Apart

You’re likely familiar with the traditional SWOT analysis—Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It’s a valuable tool, but Overlap’s Better SWOT Analysis takes it a step further. We break it down into present and future lenses, allowing for a more in-depth analysis:

  1. Present-Day Strengths: When examining your ideas, consider their current strengths. Ask: What makes each idea stand out at this moment?
  2. Future Benefits: Building on the strengths, focus on the future benefits of each idea. Ask: What could it become? How might it evolve to solve complex problems?
  3. Present-Day Weaknesses: Every idea has its limitations. It’s important to recognize them so you have a clearer picture of their vulnerabilities. Ask: What are the present-day weaknesses of your ideas?
  4. Future Dangers: Thinking ahead, contemplate the potential future dangers associated with these weaknesses. Ask: What could go wrong if they’re not addressed?

Analyzing with Clarity

Analyzing your ideas through these four dimensions provides much-needed context. It’s an essential step to consider the pros and cons of each idea, even before you delve into prioritization.

The present-day strengths are the advantages your ideas currently hold. Understanding these strengths is crucial to comprehend an idea’s potential, even if its immediate impact isn’t obvious. What matters is the future benefits it could bring.

Addressing Limitations and Potential Dangers

We often get carried away by our ideas’ promise. But in-depth analysis requires us to consider limitations and potential dangers. In the world of design-based problem-solving, where optimism reigns, acknowledging weaknesses and future dangers is critical.

By analyzing present-day weaknesses, you can proactively mitigate risks. Addressing weaknesses before they evolve into larger problems ensures you’re designing for success.

A Collaborative Approach

Overlap’s Better SWOT Analysis is particularly valuable when working within a group. If you have a multitude of ideas to evaluate, breaking them into clusters and assigning each cluster its Better SWOT Analysis worksheet streamlines the process.

Whether you have 10 or 200 ideas, this technique empowers your team to analyze, explore, and consider the factors necessary for an idea’s success efficiently.

Designing for Success

Ideation is where innovative ideas are born, but to turn them into successful solutions, you need clarity, context, and a system for prioritization. Overlap’s Better SWOT Analysis provides the framework for precisely that. By examining the present-day strengths, future benefits, present-day weaknesses, and future dangers of your ideas, you’ll make well-informed decisions on which ideas to pursue.

This method ensures that your ideation process goes beyond mere brainstorming. It sets the stage for designing with intention, taking your problem-solving skills to the next level. Your ideas are the keys to innovation, and this analysis technique equips you to unlock their full potential.

Ready to maximize your ideas? Our Overlap Membership online community space offers exclusive access to live and recorded workshops, how-to guides, tools and micro-coaching to enhance how you solve problems, big and small. We dive deeper into each of these ideation skills, providing you with practical techniques and tips to master the art of generating innovative solutions through our. You can access facilitation how-to guides and tools to enhance your problem solving skills and approach.