Get Better Ideas with the Gestures Exercise

  It is well known that our physiology can affect our psychology.  If our posture is more positive then our thinking is more positive.  Researchers Slepian and Ambady report an experiment in the Journal of Experimental Psychology.  They had some subjects move their arms in big fluid movements and other subjects moved their arms in short, precise movements.  Then everyone took a creativity... Read More--

Got a big decision to make? Try the Three by Three method.

    Let’s say you are faced with a tough problem.  You have wrestled with it for a while and now you have to make a decision.  One approach is to use what I call the three by three method. You start by considering many options.  You narrow this down to three choices. Your current best option, the CBO. A sound realistic alternative. An outlandish idea that might just work. This is deliberately... Read More--

13 Great Questions to Choose from for your next Management Meeting

Most management meetings are dull affairs stacked full of short-term urgent problems that need fixing.  Discussions focus on routine operational issues and of course these things have to be addressed.  However, from time to time you and your team should lift your heads and think about a bigger, brighter future.  You should brainstorm strategic and innovative options. The kind of question you ask... Read More--

Reframe the Problem by replacing Logic with Emotion

In business we are trained to be analytical.  We respect data, targets, percentages, market shares and ratios.  MBA students analyse case studies with detailed spreadsheets.  We frame problems in terms of metrics and numbers.  For example we might ask: How can we increase sales by 10%? How can we double brand awareness in our target market? How can we reduce the time to develop new products from... Read More--

Create your own Corporate Miracle Garden

          I recently visited Dubai to give a class on Innovation. I asked the hotel concierge for a recommendation of where to visit on a free morning. He listed all the main sights but I had already seen them. He then suggested something new, the Miracle Garden. It is a remarkable place in the Western outskirts of the city. Dubai is well known for its bold skyscrapers, ostentatious... Read More--

As the Manager, should you be present in the Brainstorm meeting?

You want to hold a meeting with the team you manage in order to generate some really creative ideas. You would like the group to challenge assumptions, think differently and come up with plenty of radical proposals. Here is the dilemma. You naturally want to lead the meeting but should you be in the room at all? Unfortunately for managers,  your presence in the room can inhibit people. With you there,... Read More--

Don’t Reject Radical Ideas with ‘Yes but….’

One of the exercises on my Creative Leadership workshop runs like this. People in pairs have short conversations. In the first conversation one person makes a suggestion for something new that could be done for customers (say). The second person replies with an objection. They start their sentence, ‘Yes but….’ The first person then rebuts the objection with another sentence starting, ‘Yes... Read More--

Don’t use Data Analysis; Use Shiritori.

Shimpei Takahashi is a Japanese innovator and inventor of new toys. In this TedX talk he recommends disregarding data analysis when developing new products. Instead he suggests using random words to generate novel ideas and combinations. In particular he recommends using a method called Shiritori where you generate a list of words where the last letter of one word is used as the first letter in the... Read More--