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Creativity & Innovation

Trigger questions for creativity and innovation

TriggerWhen I’m running workshops on creativity and innovation we usually include a selection of tools that people can use to stimulate creative thinking and to help people adopt different perspectives on a problem or opportunity. Some of the techniques include:

  • The manipulative verb technique (what would happen if we xxxx it?” – substitute enlarge, subtract, divide, double etc. for xxxx)
  • De Bono’s 6 Thinking Hats (metaphorically wear a different hat to adopt a different view)
  • Change your role (be the person on the Clapham Omnibus, be the Receptionist, be the MD, be the investigative journalist – how would they see things?)
  • Change your timeframe (what would your view be: if you were about to be fired, a new employee, given 10 minutes to solve it?)
  • Change your resources (what would you do with: half the budget, double the budget, no budget?)
  • The Idea Canvas – Michael Allen’s 5 questions to help you “pitch” an idea

All of these can get people out of their normal thought patterns and open up new ideas. You might also want to check out my blog post about Creativity Killers so that you don’t fall into the trap of using language that stifles creativity.

There’s a great Slideshare from OpenPolicyMaking called Policy Lab Change Cards which gives you about 50 questions to help trigger new ideas.

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