One of the most powerful creativity tools that i have invented is called The Power of Three.
Over many years as a strategic planning facilitator I have used it in countless ideation, brainstorming and startegy sessions and it has always worked — immediately.
When faced with a problem, try to develop a Business-as-Usual (BAU) idea, a Different and a Radical one.
This framework will encourage you to develop a greater range of solutions and gives you permission to offer those really left-field ideas.
The different types of ideas defined:
The business-as-usual solutions are a continuation of what has been done before.
The different solutions are those where you take the BAU ideas but add a something new.
The radical solutions are a departure from what has been suggested before (think big!).
Then select the best outcome (it could one of the options or a combination of these).
How to use in an ideation session:
If you are running a Brainstorming session ask each participant to bring along a BAU, different and radical idea.
If you have 10 people that could be 30 ideas straight off the bat.
For example, consider the problem:
‘How do we retain our best managers?’
A business-as-usual solution might be to pay the high performing managers more.
A different approach could be to expand their responsibilities or move them to a completely new (perhaps struggling) department.
A radical approach might be to provide them with a 12 months sabbatical or give them a small (company owned) business to run.
The Power of Three creative thinking or brainstorming tool is also a very powerful way of selling your ideas.
It is a good way of providing the client or the decision-maker with real choice.
Start by outlining the B.A.U. option, then the different, and finally the radical one.
Clients are often more willing to entertain the thought of a radical idea if they have the more bankable tried and true option on the table.
The Power of Three tool has become so successful that some organisations have adopted this language into their culture; ‘that idea is so Business as Usual, where is a Radical One?
In my role as a Strategic Planning Facilitator I have also used The Power of Three in working with marketing groups to design new product concepts.
So if you are called on to be a facilitator try using the Power of 3 — the group will love the freedom and creativity of this new approach.