Some rules on how to brainstorm and find the best insights are provided by G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Vitón, writing for Bloomberg Businessweek. They promise you can use them by yourself or with others to come up with "solid ideas for innovation".
The first rule is: be "insight agnostic". The authors recommend you pursue insights from "vast and wide" sources rather than rely heavily on data, statistics and measurements.
The authors say: "Does this mean that every insight qualifies as valid? Of course not. Eventually you will get to the point where you will have to quantify the size of the insight to make sure you're headed in the right direction, but that comes later."
Rule number two is: remember that a strong insight generates dozens of ideas. The test is to say a thought out loud and if in a matter of minutes you can think of dozens of ideas or more, you're on to a winner.
The third and final rule is: make your thoughts of a higher emotional order. The authors explain: "An insight – for the purposes of innovation – must embody a penetrating customer truth rich enough to generate significant ideas that can help build your business.
"Ultimately, an insight seeks to make someone's life simpler, more convenient, more economical, or even more worthwhile."
How to Find the Best Insights
G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Vitón