Start your Meeting with a Big Lie

Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School and Scott Wiltermuth of Marshal Business School published a paper which proposes that dishonesty leads to creativity. Their report states that, ‘dishonesty and creativity have something in common; they both involve breaking rules. Because of this shared feature, creativity may lead to dishonesty and dishonesty may lead to creativity.’ They tested this hypothesis... Read More--

How to Run an Innovation Workshop

In this audio and slide presentation I give eight key steps on how to run a really effective workshop to generate and select great ideas. The Eight Steps are: 1. Set a Clear Objective 2. Choose your Selection Criteria 3. Invite the Right Group 4. Use a Facilitator 5. Prepare the Ground 6. Brainstorm 7. Select the Winners 8. Action Please let me know if I can help with your innovation workshop. ... Read More--

Value Chain Analysis

Do you want to innovate with your service or process?  Here is an effective method which I use on innovation workshops. It involves analysing and questioning every stage of your procedure.  Start by breaking the customer journey down into separate stages starting with when the client first encounters you or your brand through to them completing the transaction and any follow-up steps. Draw this... Read More--

Think Highly!

Researchers have discovered that the height of the ceiling in a meeting room can affect the outcome of the meeting.  Apparently a high ceiling encourages people to think more creatively while a low ceiling discourages imagination and influences people to think in a constrained way. So if you want an effective brainstorm choose somewhere with plenty of headroom. The concept extends beyond the physical.... Read More--

Why Leaders should Choose Their Words with Care

Let’s say the challenge is to win an important bid. You say to your team, ‘We must win this bid. We’ve got to do everything possible to win it.’ You are in command mode, effectively issuing orders and an implied threat. On the other hand you could say, ‘We really want to win this bid. Let’s think of every possible way we can succeed.’ Now you are being inclusive... Read More--

If you want a great idea, start with a great many ideas.

One of the problems with the Western education system is that it teaches that for most questions there is one correct answer. Examinations with multiple choice questions force the student to try to select the right answer and avoid the wrong ones. So when our students leave school they are steeped in a system that says find the ‘right answer’ and you have solved the problem. Unfortunately the real... Read More--

Top Tips for a Great Brainstorm Session

There is a right way and a wrong way to run a brainstorm or ideation meeting. A little preparation pays dividends. It is very important to separate the two phases of the meeting. The first part of the meeting is Idea Generation when you use divergent thinking. The second part is Idea Selection when you use convergent thinking. Here are my top tips for a meeting that will produce great ideas:   Before... Read More--

How to Run a High Energy Ideas Jam

I facilitated an Ideas Jam for the Innovation Unit at the British Quality Foundation (BQF). It consisted of an intensive idea generation session among a group who had not previously met. The participants came from various companies and public sector organisations. Each person brought a challenge from their business – e.g. How can we communicate our new strategy to thousands of people? or How... Read More--

Draw on the Expertise of Someone Who Works in a Completely Different Field

If you are planning a creative thinking session around a particular topic then one way to help displace your thinking and inspire ideas is to bring in an expert from an entirely unrelated business. A company had an issue with its sales force. Morale was low and team spirit was poor. Sales people complained about poor leads and poor commissions but the company directors were sure the real problems lay... Read More--

Brainstorms – are they Outstanding or Outdated?

I am great believer in the humble brainstorm.  If if is well-facilitated, then the brainstorm can deliver some great ideas in a short time for almost any business or organizational issue.  However, not everyone agrees.  Some people think that the brainstorm has had its day.  Jeffrey Baumgartner is an author and speaker who promotes a new approach called Anti-Conventional Thinking.  In particular... Read More--