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Brainstorms – are they Outstanding or Outdated?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--

Six Great Ways to Ruin a Brainstorm

The brainstorm is the most popular group creativity exercise in business. It is quick, easy and it works. But many organizations have become frustrated with brainstorms and have stopped using them. They say brainstorms are old-fashioned and no longer effective. But the real reason for the frustrations is that their brainstorms are not facilitated properly. A well-run brainstorm is fun and energetic.... Read More--

Use a TV Listing to Generate Ideas

Brainstorm Method – What’s on TV tonight?   In this creativity exercise the challenge or issue is defined and then a TV guide is found with tonight’s programs listed. The group is divided into teams of say 4 or 5.   Each team is given tonight’s listing from a different popular TV channel. The teams discuss their program lists and identify the key themes and motivations from each... Read More--

The Most Popular Articles

Here are the current top 12 most popular blog postings on this site 1.  The Top Ten Lateral Thinking Puzzles 2.  What is the Difference between Creativity and Innovation? 3.  Who are a company’s most important Stakeholders? 4.  Deliberately take a different point of view – think laterally 5.  How to use Force Field Analysis for Change Management 6.  Innovation Lessons from Fashion... Read More--

Be Careful How you Reject

Any good suggestions scheme will generate a large number of ideas; millions in the case of a company like Toshiba.  In addition you will have ideas coming into the funnel from idea events and other sources.  Obviously not every idea can be funded, developed and implemented so many will have to be rejected.  There is a tendency to accelerate this process by rejecting all outrageous ideas quickly... Read More--

Great Ideas to Boost your Ideas Scheme

I spoke at the annual conference of Ideas UK in Bristol. It was a meeting of people who run suggestions schemes and employee engagement programs. Delegates came from many countries including the USA, Germany and the Middle East. There was a wealth of stories, experiences, suggestions and shared best practices. If you run a suggestion scheme of any kind then there is much to learn from this kind of... Read More--

How can we become more creative? Let’s start by thinking about our thinking.

Most organizations want to become more agile. Leaders talk about the need for innovation and entrepreneurial activity. Meanwhile employees bemoan the difficulties of getting things changed, of getting new ideas approved and implemented. How can we overcome these roadblocks? Let’s start by considering how we think at work and in particular by contrasting two styles of thinking – divergent and convergent.... Read More--

Find a Business Partner through Speed Dating

One of the best routes for innovation is collaboration. Two organizations with different strengths and markets can often collaborate in a way that combines their skills and develops new opportunities. When Mercedes Benz set out to create a radically different town car they did not choose to work with another car manufacturer or engineering company – they partnered with a fashion watch maker, Swatch.... Read More--

How Good are you Brainstorming Skills? Take the Quiz.

Brainstorms are also known as Thought Showers or Ideation Sessions.  They can be fun, fulfilling and fruitful or damp, dismal and demotivating.  It depends on how they are run.  Let’s check out your brainstorming skills with a short quiz. Here are some things to think about before your next brainstorm meeting. Try these questions then check your answers below:  How many people should there... Read More--