Stop wondering how to become creative: Here are my 3 favorite ideation tools to come up with business ideas.

Stop wondering how to become creative: Here are my 3 favorite ideation tools to come up with business ideas in a matter of minutes. | Unlock your creativity in entrepreneurship with these 3 ideation tools. Generate innovative business ideas within minutes using the Diverge, Planting Limits, and Creative Remix methods. | creativity in entrepreneurship | innovative entrepreneurship ideas | creativity and entrepreneurship | Entrepreneurship, Startups, Future of Work | Online Business Coach | Small Business Coach | Business Coaching Services | Executive & Business Coaching | Business Coach for Entrepreneurs | Business Entrepreneurship | Entrepreneur classes | Entrepreneurship and Innovation | Small Business and Entrepreneurship | Becoming an entrepreneur | Digital Entrepreneur | Online entrepreneur | Entrepreneur coach | Entrepreneurship coach | Resources for entrepreneurs | Small business entrepreneur | small business entrepreneurship | Start your own business and become an entrepreneur | Business Coaching & Entrepreneurship Training by Ksenia Votinova-Arnaud
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Creativity in Entrepreneurship: How to Come Up with Creative Business Ideas

Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey is an exhilarating adventure filled with challenges and triumphs. One of the first – and arguably most daunting – steps in this journey is the generation of a viable, innovative business idea. This is where many aspiring entrepreneurs find themselves stuck, pondering over how to ignite their creative spark.

But fear not! Creativity, contrary to popular belief, isn’t a mystical, elusive force; it’s a skill that can be developed and honed.

In this article, I’ll share with you my three favorite ideation tools that have consistently helped me and countless others swiftly conjure up business ideas. By the end of this read, you’ll feel equipped and confident in your ability to generate creative business concepts within minutes.

1. Diverge Brainstorming Method from Design Thinking

The Art of Divergence for Innovative Entrepreneurship Ideas

Imagine a brainstorming session where the sky’s the limit, where every idea, no matter how outlandish, is welcomed. This is the essence of the Diverge brainstorming method, a cornerstone of Design Thinking. This method encourages free, uninhibited thinking, pushing you to explore the breadth of your creativity.

How It Works

You start by setting a clear challenge or question related to your business idea. Then, within a set time frame (10 to 15 minutes), you generate as many ideas as possible without judging or evaluating them. Quantity trumps quality here. This is about stretching your imagination and breaking free from conventional thinking.

Story of Success

In a recent masterclass I offered to aspiring entrepreneurs, we conducted a super short 3-minute exercise. The task was to brainstorm the maximum number of ideas on the topic of “Healthy Lifestyle” within three minutes. Participants were instructed to phrase their ideas in “How might we?” questions and either put them in the chat or on post-it notes.

To everyone’s astonishment, even complete beginners managed to generate between 3 and 11 ideas each, averaging 5 ideas per person. This amounted to over a hundred ideas generated in just 3 minutes by the group of 20 who attended the session live. This exercise is not only a testament to the power of the Diverge method but also demonstrates its practical application in generating innovative business concepts.

If just three minutes can yield such a multitude of ideas, imagine the potential of a dedicated 15-minute session. This method proves that the sky truly is the limit when you push your creative boundaries. I encourage you to try this exercise yourself and see how many innovative business ideas you can generate. It’s a simple yet effective way to kickstart your entrepreneurial creativity.

2. Planting Limits Method

Embracing Constraints for Creative Business Ideas

Constraints aren’t just obstacles; they can be the source of unprecedented innovation. The Planting Limits Method leverages this counterintuitive truth. Setting defined boundaries paradoxically opens up new avenues for creative thinking and resourcefulness.

Method in Action

Implementing this method begins by defining your box: it could be a financial cap, like a $100 budget, or a product limit, such as developing a business with only three offerings. These aren’t just limitations; think of them as the lines within which your creative masterpiece will take shape.

A Real-World Example of Creativity and Entrepreneurship

During a session at INSEAD’s Fontainebleau campus, I worked with groups on a project aimed at increasing the accessibility of eye surgeries in rural India. The project was rife with constraints: travel distance to hospitals, understanding the customer persona from rural areas, overcoming language barriers, and changing the mindset around blindness.

One group, embracing the Planting Limits Method, creatively tackled the anonymity issue by envisioning the deployment of eye-scanning kiosks in villages. This solution not only circumvented the travel constraint but also introduced a scalable way to identify patients in need of care without them having to step forward publicly.

This application of the method led to solutions that were as innovative as they were impactful. It also made the process itself a source of satisfaction and discovery, showing how clear constraints can indeed lead to clear breakthroughs.

3. Creative Remix Method

The Fusion of Creative Business Ideas

Innovation often arises from the intersection of existing ideas, a concept at the heart of the Creative Remix Method. This approach is about taking established products, services, or concepts and melding them in novel ways to forge something of unique value.

How to Implement

Begin by examining existing businesses or products and contemplate: How could these be amalgamated or modified to serve an alternate purpose or market? The objective is to connect dots that others haven’t, to see patterns and opportunities where none seemed to exist. Consider these questions: What need does each business model address? How does it create value? And how can these elements be reassembled to address the problem you’re targeting?

Success Story

During my time coaching MBAs from a prominent business school in India, they were given a social impact business challenge of doubling the number of free cataract surgeries for those living below the poverty line.

To expand their creative horizons, we delved into how business models from various industries could be applied to their issues. By drawing inspiration from diverse models like Uber’s car-sharing scheme, Airbnb’s space-sharing concept, or the razor-and-blades model, they could synthesize these frameworks into their existing idea pool.

This cross-pollination of concepts led to unique, tailored solutions that showcased the power of creative remixing in a real-world context.

By integrating successful paradigms from disparate industries, we can unleash a wave of innovation, potentially uncovering solutions that are not just incrementally better but radically different. It’s this kind of thinking that can lead to breakthroughs in efficiency, accessibility, and service delivery, revolutionizing industries and changing lives.


Creativity in entrepreneurship isn’t about waiting for the lightning strike of a ‘big idea’; it’s about using the right tools to systematically explore and develop your creative potential. The Diverge Brainstorming Method, Planting Limits Method, and Creative Remix Method are powerful tools that can help you generate business ideas quickly and efficiently.

But remember, ideation is just the beginning. Once you have a plethora of ideas, it’s crucial to converge and sift through them. My favorite technique for this is distributing imaginary capital among team members or friends, allowing them to ‘invest’ in the ideas they believe in the most. This helps not only shortlist the best ideas but also gauge their potential market appeal.

If you found these insights helpful and are eager for more, I invite you to join my Inbox Club.

You’ll receive weekly nuggets of wisdom and practical tips to guide you through your entrepreneurial journey. Sign up today and transform your dream of starting a business into a reality. Let’s embark on this exciting path together!


Hi, I'm Ksenia.
Your New Business Coach.

I empower corporate professionals to take a leap into the entrepreneurship world or build a Portfolio career, by helping them uncover innovative business ideas and build profitable and resilient companies.
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