Using Generative Artificial Intelligence for Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship Ideation


BY Bruce Fischer | 5 MIN READ

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An organization that generates a lot of ideas will usually be successful at innovation, and with the advent of generative artificial intelligence (GenAI), this provides a great way to generate a surplus of ideas.

GenAI, and its implementation throughout a number of organizations, have coined the term  “AIdeation”, which is transforming both entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship.


Innovation makes our lives better, there’s no doubt about that, and in organizations, there are both product and process innovations.

Products can be defined as “products that are produced for a customer, whether the organization is a manufacturer or a service provider”, and processes are the means of producing the organization’s products. Because of this, a businesses process are not directly related to producing the organization’s products, but include the knowledge work in sales, engineering, accounting, finance, operations and general administration of the organization. Simply put, business processes are especially opportune places for innovation.

There was a significant gain in organizational productivity that began in the 1990’s called Business Process Reengineering (Hammer and Champy, 1993) that helped to make major gains in the productivity of white-collar jobs using new technology – especially desktop computers and the business applications software used by them. AIdeation promises to be even more effective at business process improvement by immediately assisting employees with aspects of knowledge work that are repetitive and less creative.

Using GenAI for Ideation

There has been a great deal of study of the creative process in recent years. Creativity can be best described by using the output of ideas as the unit of measure.

Ideation is certainly not sufficient for describing innovation since ideas are merely dreams unless they are implemented. An implemented idea is an innovation – and innovation sometimes is the product of brainstorming.

Brainstorming is possibly the most effective approach currently for systematically generating ideas. In brainstorming, it is important that there is not criticism during the idea generation stage because initially it is the quantity of ideas that is most important. Ideas are like alligator or sea turtle eggs and hatchlings – a large majority of them won’t make it to maturity, so it is important to have a large volume of ideas at the outset.

GenAI, when presented with a problem (or opportunity) to research, will typically produce a lot of ideas, and no one should expect GenAI to produce solutions on its first iteration; skill and experience at selecting prompts is invaluable in the use of GenAI. A trial-and-error process is essential in systematic ideation.

Combine Ideas

GenAI is particularly good at combining different ideas, and this is often the way that innovative ideas are created. When using GenAI, merging two ideas will likely get a match or a pairing, for instance. However, judging the relative value of a match will be up to you. Then, refine the match with more iterations to produce a product or process solution idea. Most ideation involves the intersection of two or more concepts.

Don’t be Afraid of ‘New’

The greatest ideas often are ones that were unexpected because they were breakthroughs in unchartered waters. Don’t be overly cautious in interacting with GenAI, as it will tell you something is not within its range of capabilities. There is no downside to making bold suggestions to GenAI and you never know what you don’t know.

Much innovation, especially quantum innovation, comes from the fusion of ideas from different fields. Often, those close to an existing product or process cannot see an innovation that is significantly different until someone with a totally different perspective observes a synergy. GenAI can simulate this by being asked to take a different perspective on a product or process. Don’t underestimate GenAI’s ability to “think.” Its predictive powers are great and are getting better every day.

Limitations of Gen AI

Since GenAI is currently a predictive model, its conclusions are based on its considerable data, but it lacks the more sophisticated reasoning ability of humans – for now. GenAI will be improved over time, and it is certain to become more effective at reasoning.

Meanwhile, it can generate ideas by the creative use of prompts to make very creative combinations of ideas. The human user can create prompts that cause GenAI to bring the ideas to the fore and the human can then judge them.

GenAI needs to be taken for what it is, a great idea generator with significant vulnerability in the quality of its output. GenAI requires human checks until better controls can be built into the tool.


It is apparent that GenAI will result in a tremendous increase in the productivity of knowledge workers. Among the other significant contributions of this new technology is the increase in innovation. Sometimes, GenAI will generate more and better idea, although GenAI needs to be focused on the problem/opportunity.

The partnership between human and machine in ideation is very complementary with GenAI. Humans can judge ideas produced and hone them to be more practicable. The effective use of prompting can allow GenAI to combine ideas with considerable gains in ideation.

Elmhurst University offers a Graduate Certificate in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. To learn more, please fill out the form below


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