Tools to generate big, new ideas
Just over 10 years ago I wrote a book called The Idea Generator (Allen & Unwin).
The book contains various tools to help individuals, groups and teams to create new ideas.
I have tested all of these idea generation tools with leaders from around the world.
Tools are important because they enhance and often accelerate the creative thinking ability and confidence of individuals and groups.
The tools are based on an insight.
My insight is this:
If you always define the problem in the same way (i.e. P1) and look at the same problem in the same way (lens 1) you will always get the same results.
No amount of extra research or data will change this result.
For example – how can we improve our customer satisfaction scores is a well-worn but important question.
But to generate more creative ideas you need to define the problem differently (i.e. P2 …) and/or look at the problem differently (Lens 2 …).
Even looking at my book cover from a different angle illustrates my point (see the image below).
The world looks slightly differently.
For example, How can we encourage our customers to talk about our product or service at their next dinner party is essentially the same question but worded in a more evocative, imaginative way.
This simple change increases your chances of generating more original ideas.
I still talk about this insight and its implications in every workshop I run on creative Thinking.