Do you have an effective Suggestions Scheme? If not then start one.

Does your business have an effective employee suggestions scheme? An increasing number of organisations in the both private and public sectors are finding that they can drive innovation and reduce cost by moving their suggestion box from the office wall to the intranet. Siemens Automation and Drives is a good example. They employ 400 people in Congleton, Cheshire in the UK making electric motor drives.... Read More--


21 Great Ways to Innovate

How hard is it to innovate?  Not once but over and over?  How can you repeatedly implement great new products, processes or services?  Continuous innovation is not easy and if you keep using the same method you will experience diminishing results.  Try innovating how you innovate by employing some of these ideas.   Copy someone else’s idea.  One of the best ways to innovate is to pinch... Read More--


Improve your Brainstorm output by redefining the problem

One simple technique that can generate fresh thinking is to redefine the problem. The way we express any issue, the form and choice of words we use, sets expectations and constraints. There was an ideas meeting at a manufacturing plant where shop floor workers were asked for their suggestions on how to improve productivity. The response was disappointingly sparse. A little later a similar group was... Read More--


Where should you hold your Brainstorm meeting?

The best place to run a creative workshop session is off-site – away from all the temptations and distractions of the office.  Taking people away from the familiar routine into a different environment can definitely help them to think about things in different ways.  If you are going off-site then please consider somewhere a little more imaginative than a local hotel.   I have used conference... Read More--


Try the ‘Only we can…..’ exercise. What is unique about your business?

Here is a simple exercise which I would recommend as a source of innovation ideas.  Gather some of your people together and write the following phrase at the top of a flipchart, ‘Only we can………’ Each member of the group then has to complete the sentence. They might describe anything from a product, a service, a feature, a market segment, a geographic area, a personality,... Read More--


Break the Rules – Innovation Technique

Innovators are rule breakers. We often see how new entrants to a market break the rules to which that the existing players conform. The low cost airlines did this when they challenged the ways in which the major airlines did business. The new players used electronic tickets, bypassed travel agents, did away with allocated seating, flew to new smaller airports and so on. Break the Rules is a workshop... Read More--


Try Freewriting, a creativity method for groups or individuals

Freewriting is a personal creativity technique that is particularly useful when you have hit a mental roadblock. You simply write the challenge or topic at the top of a large piece of paper and then start writing. You can write anything related to the topic. Here are the rules of freewriting as given by Natalie Goldberg: Give yourself a time limit. Write for ten minutes say, and then stop. Keep your... Read More--


Use Similes to Generate Fresh Ideas

Similes is a powerful and effective group brainstorming method. You state the challenge and then get everyone to write down on their own sheet of paper – ‘Our problem is like…’ Each person then completes the sentence. They must do this in silence so that they are not influenced by each other’s ideas. You are looking to find a broadly similar challenge in a completely different... Read More--


SCAMPER is a reliable and effective tool for generating product or service innovations

One of the most reliable and popular methods on my Ideas Workshop is SCAMPER.   It is an effective and versatile technique for generating innovative ideas for your product or service. It forces you to look at your offering from seven different perspectives. SCAMPER is an acronym and you ask the following types of question when you use this tool: SUBSTITUTE – What elements of this product or... Read More--