Sparking Ideas In Your Own Organization
Nancy Francis and Susan Robertson
May 15, 2008
• To learn about “Creativity and
Idea Generating Techniques –
The Creative Process.”
• To participate in interactive
• To share take-home tool.
• Introduce yourself to the person
to your left and the person to
–Tell them your name.
–Share a piece of advice your
mother gave you.
Ideas To Go Background
• Leaders in innovation for 30 years.
• Over 5,000 facilitated innovation sessions
for Fortune 500 companies on an amazing
array of topics.
• Fourteen highly experienced Facilitators
and a stellar staff of professional writers
and artists, word processing specialists,
plus creative and IT support staff.
• State-of-the-art facilities in three locations
(plus the ability to provoke great thinking
• Ideas To Go has worked with a wide variety of food
• Creative Process Overview.
• Breaking Through Creative Blocks.
• Tools for Creative/
Integrated Creative Problem Solving Model
Creative style preference Converging
Habits/Paradigms/Blocks Process steps
Distractions Tools and techniques
Person Process Team composition
Group comfort level/trust Communication skills
Level of risk-taking Physical surroundings
The Creative Problem-Solving Model
– Divergent thinking –
exploring all the
– Convergent thinking – Converge
identifying and honing
those ideas with the
Elements of Creative Production
E. Paul Torrance
• Fluency – Many ideas.
• Flexibility – Different kinds of ideas.
• Originality – Unusual ideas.
• Elaboration – Adding on to basic ideas; twisting
or turning ideas to make them
The Four Stages of the Creative Process
1. Search for New Opportunities.
2. Redefine the Problem/Opportunity.
3. Generate New Ideas/Solutions.
4. Plan for Action.
Use Divergent and Convergent Thinking in
WHAT YOU’RE FOR WHAT YOU WISH FOR
Benefits of Forness® Thinking
! 1. Keeps the good alive.
• Dropped items won’t break.
• Won’t show dirt.
• Dries without spotting.
2. Pushes towards actionable solutions.
• I wish for faux fur.
• I wish for the ability to change to match décor.
• I wish for fur-covered pipes for instant warm water.
3. Creates a safe environment.
4. Encourages teamwork and ownership.
5. Saves time.
(Jump to Solution)
F Broad Area
FF F F
F F F
F F F F
Opportunity Opportunity F F F
F Broad Area F F
F Opportunity OpportunityOpportunity
F F F F
FF F F F F
F F F F
(Or, when is knowledge and experience a hindrance?)
Area - Think of new ideas for
grocery store salad dressing.
• Immediate assumptions, based on knowledge
– Goes on lettuce.
– In a bottle.
– Eaten from a bowl or plate.
– Eaten with a fork.
• Assumption Busting:
– What if that’s not true?
• Take one of the
assumptions and assume
it’s not true.
• Now, think of new areas
of opportunity for salad
• List facts, assumptions, givens, truths about
• Now role play as your customers,
management, other constituents and list their
• For each, ask “What if that’s not the case?”
What possibilities might that present?
Types of Thinking
Types of Ideas
Making Ideas Come to You at Will:
6 Simple Steps
1. Introduce the topic.
2. Forget the topic.
3. Go somewhere for stimulus.
4. Force fit stimulus to topic.
6. Create a new idea.
Excursion Practice: Wishes
• Individual Practice:
–How to improve the customer
Selected Target Area
• Generate ideas for new ways to
increase value without discount.
• Remember – Ideas can be for:
Excursion Practice: Drawing From
• Work with a partner:
– Share with your partner a non-food company
that you are personally loyal to and list the
reasons why you are loyal to that company.
– Swap roles.
– Use the reasons for loyalty to help you
generate ideas for improving the customer
experience in a restaurant.
Excursion Practice: “Get Fired” Ideas
• Small Group Practice (each table):
– Come up with your “Get Fired” idea.
• Sell food at a loss.
• Add additional ingredients - place insects in the
meal before serving it.
• Handout instructions to each guest on how to deal
with food poisoning.
– Swap your get fired ideas with someone at
– Use Forness® thinking to generate “Get
Good luck with your
Nancy Francis Susan Robertson